tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN January 9, 2014 2:00pm-9:01pm EST
redesignate the drieden flight research center as the neil a. armstrong flight research center and the western aeronautical test range as the hugh l. devil ayden aeronautical test range. -- draiden arrest nautical test range. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to evise and extend their remarks and to include extraneous material on h.r. 2279. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. pursuant to house resolution 455 and rule 18, the chair declares the house in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for consideration of h.r. 2279. the chair appoints the gentleman from kansas, mr. yoder, to
preside over the committee of the whole. the chair: the house is in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for the consideration of h.r. 2279, which the clerk will report by title. the clerk: a bill to amend the solid waste disposal act relating to review of regulations under such act, and to amend the comprehensive environmental response compensation and liability act of 1980 relating to financial
responsibility for classes of facilities. the chair: pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered as read the first time. the gentleman from ohio, mr. johnson, and the gentleman from new york, mr. tonko, each will control 30 minutes. the chair will now recognizes the gentleman from ohio. the house will come to order. he committee will be in order. the chair recognizes the gentleman from ohio. mr. johnson: mr. chairman, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. johnson: mr. chairman, the house is not in order. the chair: the gentleman is correct. he committee will be in order.
the gentleman from ohio is recognized. mr. johnson: mr. chairman, i am pleased to rise in support of the amendment to h.r. 2279, the reducing, sessive deadline obligations, or redo act of 2013. which also includes my legislation h.r. 2226 -- the speaker pro tempore: -- >> mr. speaker, the house is not in order. the chair: the gentleman is correct. the house is still not in order. committee will be in order. members will take their conversations off the house floor. he committee will be in order. he committee will be in order.
the gentleman from ohio is recognized. mr. johnson: mr. chairman, once again i'm pleased rise in support of the amendment to reducing excessive deadline obligations act of 2013, redo act, which includes my legislation h.r. 2226, the federal state partnership for environment protection act, and mr. latta's bill, h.r. 2318, the federal facility accountability act of 2013. our goal with all three of these bills is to modernize some of the environmental laws we oversee and make sure that the states are playing a significant role in implementing them. to do that we began this congress with a hearing on the role of the states in protecting the environment. state environmental protection officials shared their experience and expertise with us and helped us better understand the complex partnership between the states and the federal government as states implement federal laws such as the solid
waste disposal act and the e.p.a. implements the comprehensive response compensation and liability act or cercla or superfund law, and the relation to state environmental protection laws. today we consider three bills that are a logical outgrowth of that discussion. the reducing excessive deadline obligations or are redo act of 2013, would give e.p.a. flexibility by correcting two arbitrary action deadlines that were written into the solid waste dispoal act and cercla many years ago. rcra contains a mandate that e.p.a. review and if necessary revise all rcra regulations every three years. this deadline is unnecessary and unworkable in the face of the significant number of regulations that currently exist under rcra. the bill would allow the administrator to review and if necessary revise regulations as she thinks appropriate.
the bill would also lift an action deadline in cercla requiring e.p.a. to identify prior to 1984 classes of facilities for which to develop financial assurance regulations. mr. chairman, the house is not in order. the chair: the gentleman is correct. the committee is not in order. members, please take your conversations off the floor. the gentleman from ohio is recognized. mr. johnson: more than 30 years passed without action from the e.p.a. to promulgate regulations regarding financial assurance. a lawsuit and court order finally prompted the e.p.a. action just a few years ago. in the meantime, the states and other federal agencies have long since acted putting in place strong financial assurance requirements of their own. that's why the bill also provides that if e.p.a. does get around to establishing federal financial assurance regulations, the state's requirements would not be preempted. the bill also requires the
e.p.a. to gather information regarding the financial assurance programs of states and other federal agencies and report to congress regarding whether there is a need for additional regulation by the e.p.a. should the e.p.a. determine there is a need for additional requirements, the bill ensures that compliance with the existing state or federal requirements will count towards compliance with e.p.a.'s requirements. . this would bring it into come format into the solid waste water act and all superfund sites comply with all federal, state regulations. now, this is not a new concept. legislation has been introduced previously by my friends across the aisle to ensure that federal agencies comply with all federal and state environmental laws, including cercla. in fact, the federal facilities compliance act of 1991 had the same goal.
to make federal facilities subject to all the same sob stan tiff and procedural requirements -- substantive and procedural requirements, including sanctions that state and local governments and private companies meet. the federal facility accountability act applies the same policy to federal facilities under cercla that already applies to federal facilities under the solid waste disposal act. some argue that if this bill becomes law it will change federal agencies spending by forcing them to comply with state laws and that cercla is different because it is retroactive and applies to prior actions of the federal government. but the solid waste disposal act often applies to past conduct. that's why there's a provision for corrective measures. in fact, the e.p.a. has issued multiple guidance documents that describe how federal agencies should harmonize rcra and cercla with respects to cleanups of hazardous waste.
past conduct, future conduct, the fairness principle is the same. the basic question is whether federal agencies should comply with state environmental protection laws just as private companies and state and local agencies must do. my bill, the federal and state partnership for environment protection act, does exactly what the title implies and would go a long way toward making the states partners with the e.p.a. in cleaning up hazardous waste sites. cercla is implemented by the e.p.a. but often states are in the best position to look at the site in their state. this would allow the states to play a bigger role in several ways. it would allow the states to list a site they believe to be on the national priorities list every five years and would provide transparency to the sites if they suggest it for listing. it would allow the states to be consulted before the e.p.a. selects remedial action.
the states are on the front lines and understand at the ground level how to prioritize environmental actions within their states. they often come up with innovative solutions that better fit the local problem. we heard examples of that in our hearing on the role of the states in protecting the environment. cercla is a key example of a statute past more -- passed more than 30 years that we can now update and strengthen the federal state partnership to get sites cleaned up. removing barriers to job creation imposed by federal government is a cornerstone in our governing philosophy. cory gardner, bob latta and i produced bills to make sure that the federal government reduces unnecessary red tape. the barriers to job creation while still keeping our environment healthy. these important bills aim to improve the federal and state relationship when dealing with hazardous waste. with that, mr. chairman, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from ohio reserves.
the gentleman from new york is ecognized. mr. tonko: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. tonko: at a time when our citizens are out of work, our nation's infrastructure is in need of repair, the tax code needs revision and with a safety net that provides basic necessary its for our citizens has a tragic number of holes to close, we are spending our time on yet another bill that is headed straight for the legislative dust bin. it was the high-profile contamination at love canal in my home state in 1978 that moved congress to address the health threat that exist at many sites across the nation, toxic contamination of air, of water and of land from the improper handling and disposal of hazardous materials. many of us represent districts that have former contaminated sites or sites that still need
to be cleaned up. superfund is not a perfect law, but it has in combination with other environmental laws returned many abandoned contaminated sites to productive use. when contaminated blighted land is transformed, the entire community benefits. along abandoned former industrial site, along the river front in my district was restored to a popular park. the residents of amsterdam now enjoy a beautiful waterfront area. h.r. 2279 does nothing to improve public health or create jobs or protect the environment or avoid needless public expenses. in fact, it does the opposite. title 1 of this bill further delays action that should have taken -- have been taken years ago. congress included broad authorities for the environmental protection agency to ensure that businesses that handle hazardous substances were financially able to deal with contamination that might
result from their activities. this provision remains essential to protecting taxpayer interests and it ensures these businesses are acting responsibly. e.p.a.'s goals within the superfund program should not stop at cleaning up the legacy sites that we have, it should also prevent new sites from being contaminated. it should prevent more people from being exposed to toxic substances, and it should prevent the property damage, loss of revenue and stigma that communities experience when they are marred by these sites. h.r. 2279 blocks the environmental protection agency from implementing financial responsibility standards that their inspector general's office and the government accountability office have advised our actions that will avoid unnecessary public expenditures to clean up contaminated sites. the g.a.o.'s last report on this topic indicated that in a
10-year period they examined, federal agencies spent $2.6 billion to reclaim abandoned hard rock mine sites on federal, state, private and tribal lands. so how does h.r. 2279 address this potential $100 million per year liability? by blocking e.p.a. from taking recommended steps to avoid these potential cleanup costs, we cannot afford to continue this destructive policy. under the guise of fiscal responsibility, the majority voted to expand the list of requirements for applicants to the food stamp program to include drug testing, work requirements in addition toll detailed examination of -- to the detailed examination of the applicant, all in providing a subsidy of about $1.50 per meal. but apparently it is too much to ask that a business that could expos communities to
tocks -- expose communities to toxic contamination and leave cleanup costs in tens of millions of dollars and loss of local revenue and loss of property values provides the government with the assurance they can properly manage or clean up contamination that they create. the inconsistency in these policy choices is indeed incredible. blocking e.p.a. from instituting basic requirements to protect public health, community vitality, local economic interest and taxpayer interests provides a massive subsidy to a polluter at great public expense. titles 2 and 3 of this bill are somewhat of a mystery. i have no idea what problems with the superfund program they propose to fix, but we have heard from the administration about serious problems this bill would indeed create. the proponents of this legislation claim that title will provide states more funding, -- title 2 will provide states more funding,
improve cooperation between the states and the federal government on site cleanups. but states already have a significant role. under current law, states can assert greater control over cleanups through a variety of mechanisms if they wish to do so. altering the relationship between federal and state government have a number of serious problems. for example, title 3 creates situations in which federal employees could find themselves in a legal mess if caught between conflicting state and federal direction of a cleanup site. this is an issue that was raised when this bill was considered by the committee. it was not resolved in committee, and it it was not resolved before coming here to the house floor. this is not the first bill has considered that demonstrated a disregard for federal workers. this house has repeatedly turned to federal workers to shoulder an unfair amount of the burden of deficit reduction. our erratic appropriation
process has made their jobs more difficult. even as we have reduced their benefits and frozen their salaries. we shut down the government in creating uncertainty for their families and barring members from their workplace. now we're poised to pass a bill that might result in federal workers being put in jail for doing their job. mr. chair, i've touched on a few of the problems with this legislation. this is a poorly crafted bill that offers nothing for the public. it will not speed cleanups. it will not save money. it will not improve public health. this is bad policy and poorly crafted legislation. and with that i urge my colleagues to reject it. and mr. chair, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from ohio is recognized. mr. johnson: mr. chairman, i'm proud to yield three minutes to my colleague from ohio, mr. latta. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. latta: i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. chairman, i rise today in
support of h.r. 2279 and specifically a section of the bill i sponsored, referred to as the federal facility accountability act. this commonsense legislation updates cercla, ensures that federal facilities are held to the same level of accountability as private facilities when it comes to cleaning up the hazardous substances. this is approved by a number of entities. as the department of environmental conservation contaminated sites program in alaska pointed out during one of our subcommittee hearings, a recurring problem is when deral entities use sovereign immunity to bar, limit state or agency cleanups. in these instances, the federal agency is acting as a , and how safe ty
the remedy needs to be and to also pay the bill. further, there's inconsistency in how federal agencies have their cercla authority. the account act act addresses these concerns. ensuring current and formerly owned federal facilities will have to comply with the same state requirements as a private entity doing cleanup under cercla and eye den fights the type of state procedure and substantive requirements that are applicable to the federal government. some of the most pressing environmental problems exist at current and former federal facilities and states have come a long way in having strong regulatory programs to protect public health, safety and the environment. it makes sense for federal agencies to comply with these state environmental laws and the cleanup contamination at federal facilities to the same standards as everyone else. a strong independent enforcement authority, the environmental performance of
federal agencies will undoubtedly improve. thank you, mr. chairman. i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 2279, and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from ohio reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. tonko: mr. chair, thank you. i now yield five minutes to the distinguished ranker of the energy and commerce committee, former chair of the energy and commerce committee and a staunch defender in public policy and outspoken word for the environment and so we ask for five minutes for ranker waxman. the chair: the gentleman from california is recognized for five minutes. mr. waxman: thank you, mr. chairman, and my colleague, mr. tonko, for your kind words. i appreciate it. today the house is considering legislation to reduce the number of cleanups of dangerous contaminated sites that can occur each year, reducing the number of cleanups at the same time raising the cost of the taxpayers and letting polluters escape responsibility.
this bill is a perfect illustration of what's wrong with the house of representatives. it's a partisan bill developed through an insufficient committee process that erodes landmark public health protections for the benefit of big pollutors. when i first learned that the committee was considering this legislation to address the cleanup of contaminated sites on federal land, i was hopeful this was an issue that could be pursued on a bipartisan basis. we should always be looking for ways to improve our laws, to be more careful and effective of the use of taxpayers' dollars and to better protect public health and the environment. but the energy and commerce committee leadership refuse to work with the stakeholders to develop a workable and credible proposal. the department of justice, the department of defense both
offered to come help us craft new and effective policies, but the chairman of the subcommittee refused to even meet with them. even worse, after the hearing on the bill, we had a hearing on it, the house republicans added provisions that would let private companies avoid accountability for the pollution they caused. . that means we are voting on legislation today to create new hurdles for holding polluters accountable and we have no legislative record to explain it. the outcome of enacting this bill should be obvious. if polluters don't pay to clean up their pollution, then it just becomes one more burden on the taxpayer. and none of us should want that. this is a continuation of a disturbing trend. over the last three years under
republican control, the house as voted over 400 times to weaken environmental laws. last year, the house voted 51 times to benefit the oil and gas industry from gutting laws that fight climate change, to repealing rules that cut toxic air pollution. the house republican leadership appears to have no qualms about targeting any public health and environmental protection. the house republicans seem to have forgotten, we represent all of the american people. we represent the parents who want to know that their children are not being exposed to cancer-causing pollution. we represent taxpayers who don't want to spend millions to clean up a polluted industrial site simply because a big corporation decided to walk away. and we, yes, even represent the federal employees who shouldn't
have to face the threat of state sanctions just for doing their job and following the law as they would under this bill. the administration strongly opposes this bill because it could delay clean up of contaminated sites with the most urgent human health and safety risks. all of the democrats on the energy and commerce committee voted against these bills that have been combined and are being presented to us today. we all oppose it because it will increase litigation and let polluters off the hook. this bill would be vetoed if it ever made its way to the president's desk. most likely it will never see the light of day in the other house. this bill might play well with some special interest groups, but it should never become law, and i urge all members to oppose this legislation.
the chair: the gentleman from california yields back. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from ohio is recognized. mr. johnson: thank you, mr. chairman. i have to respond, i think, briefly i appreciate the ranking member's passion in addressing these issues, but we need to clear up what some of the facts actually are. c.b.o. has scored these bills and has come back and said that there are no significant cost increases associated with these. furthermore, in regards to meeting with the department of justice and the department of defense, that meeting did occur and the concerns that they rose were mainly around criminal liabilities for federal employees and that was addressed in the final legislation. so i'm not sure why we are still debating those issues, but at this time i'd like to yield two minutes to my colleague from colorado, mr. gardner. mr. gardner: i thank the gentleman from ohio. the chair: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for two minutes. mr. gardner: i thank the gentleman from ohio for his leadership in managing this
legislation today. i also thank the chairman of the subcommittee, mr. shimkus of illinois, for his fine work on this legislation. rising today in support of h.r. 2279, the reducing excessive deadlines obligation act. a package of bills as we have discussed which includes the federal facility accountability act by mr. latta from ohio and the federal and state partnership for environmental protection act by mr. johnson of ohio. this legislation represents steps to roll back unnecessary and overburdensome regulations that are duplicative and unnecessary. the bills are aimed to protect the state-federal partnership when it comes to cleaning up hazardous waste sites as quickly and efficiently as possible. the solid waste must be disposed of in a responsible, efficient, and environmentally friendly manner, but there is no need for overly burdensome regulation that is put a strain on businesses. while our economy continues to sputter along, commonsense provisions of rules and regulations are a vital and critical component of helping our state and local economies grow. my bill, the redo act, does two
things. it allows the e.p.a. the authority to revise and review the conversation vation recovery act, ricka, as appropriate instead of every three years as required under current law. even the e.p.a. in written testimony to this committee, energy and commerce committee, said this regulation, the regulation we are changing, can pose a significant resource burden on the e.p.a. given the complexity and volume of e.p.a.'s rcra regulations. the e.p.a. has problems with the rule. we are simply trying to change the rule to give them the power to meet the rule, and that's why it's all the more surprising the president would issue a veto threat over a regulation that his own agency as written testimony is saying they can't comply with it. i have problems with it. this bill also provides when the e.p.a. prom mull gates a financial responsibility requirement, existing state or federal requirements are not preempted and the e.p.a.'s requirement will fill whatever gap may be left by the
requirement set forth by states and other federal agencies. if e.p.a. does revise requirements, they must submit a report to congress explaining their justification to do so. it's a commonsense bill, commonsense job legislation, and i urge this chamber's support. thank you. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from ohio reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. tonko: mr. chair, i yield an additional one minute to the gentleman from california. the chair: the gentleman from california is recognized for one minute. mr. waxman: i thank you for yielding so i could correct the record. my staff on our committee met with the department of justice and department of defense to hear a long list of objections they had to the bill. that was before the markup in committee. when we went into the markup in committee, i personally asked in the public session if chairman shimkus, the chairman of the subcommittee, would meet personally with the department of justice and department of defense because they had great concerns about the bill. he said at that markup that he would. we checked with the department of defense, we checked with the
department of justice and there has been no such meeting. there has been some change but they have not addressed all the issues that i think members should have been taking into consideration. there was really not an attempt, if the gentleman would permit, to work this out on a bipartisan basis to hear what other people had to say about it. this bill was driven through and being written whether we had a hearing, written after the hearings, whether they had a markup, after the markup would get -- without getting all the facts. it's a flawed bill as a result of it. thank you. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from ohio. mr. johnson: thank you, mr. chairman. i'm proud at this point to yield three minutes to my good friend from pennsylvania, mr. meehan. the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for three minutes. mr. meehan: i thank the gentleman from ohio. move to strike the last word. section 106 of this bill requires that the owners and operators of facilities holding
certain quantities of materials that are included on the department of homeland security 's chemicals of interest list, report those materials to their state emergency response commissions. while it's absolutely imperative that state and local authorities are properly informed about potential hazards in their communities, we have to be sure to communicate this information in the most secure, responsible, and effective way. as chairman of the homeland security committee's subcommittee on cybersecurity, infrastructure protection, and security technologies, this provision has concerns for me for two particular reasons. first, the president has already specifically asked several federal agencies, this is the department of homeland security, the environmental protection agency, and a.t.f., alcohol, tobacco, and firearms to assess the feasibility of sharing this kind of information with the emergency response commissions. so while they are actually
engaged in this activity, section 10 effectively mandates they share this information immediately before the president has had a chance to make his determinations and with sensitive informations about the amount, variety, and location of potentially dangerous materials at issue, this directive raises serious security concerns. second, the d.h.s. chemicals of interest list is specific to the chemical facilities' anti-terrorism standards program. cfats has in place a required practice of sharing information in a way that should ensure facility the security. i have serious reservations about whether this sensitive information could become compromised or subject to broad dissemination if section 106 were to become law. chemical security is the responsibility of the department of homeland security which is specifically equipped to protect it. because of the concerns have yet to be addressed, i request that the committee will revisit section 106 during the
conference with the senate. with that i yield to the gentleman from ohio -- i yield to the gentleman from illinois, mr. shimkus. mr. shimkus: this was in our open deliberative process which we had in the markup, this was added as an amendment to the bill by my friends on the other side. this was prior to the president's rollout of his working group, prior to the president's stated concern about the sensitive nature of this information, and so one of the few times i would agree with the president that this information is very, very sensitive. so it might have been inappropriate at that time to accept this portion of the bill. in our view, protecting this information, especially keeping it away from terrorists, is of
utmost concern, and i want to assure you that this will be our guiding principle as we consider whether to include section 10 or any version of it in the time draft of the legislation. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from ohio reserves. the gentleman from new york. mr. tonko: thank you, mr. chair. i yield three minutes to chairman emeritus of the energy and commerce committee and also the longest serving member of the house, good friend from the state of michigan who was at the table in 1980 to oversee superfund and knows more about the superfund than perhaps anyone in the house. three minutes, please f. we could yield. the chair: the gentleman from michigan is recognized for three minutes. mr. dingell: i thank my dear friend from new york. i commend him for his outstanding service. i appreciate his yielding this time to me. well, we have a bad bill on the floor. frankly, i'm embarrassed and if i were one of the republican
managers of this bill i would have a red face. quite honestly it does nothing except expose federal employees to liability for actually enforcing the law. no oversight was conducted to bring about the consideration of this legislation. no opportunity was made for the agencies to come forward fully set out their concerns about how this bill is a bad piece of legislation. as the chairman of the committee on energy and commerce, i handled the superfund amendments of the re-authorization acts earlier. it was a fully bipartisan undertaking and we worked very closely with the reagan administration, which was present and involved in all the conference meetings. the senate at that time was under republican control. president reagan signed the fact on october 17, 1986, after overwhelming votes of 386-27 in
the house, and 88-8 in the senate. at one hearing we had on this bill i did not hear any support from the majority's witnesses. most seemed to be somewhat embarrassed about the legislation and were unable to tell us anything that the legislation would accomplish in the public good, or towards speeding up or improving the epformente of superfund. it was interesting to note that there was really no identification of what the legislation would do to cure the problems that we confront with regard to superfund. the superfund program has been a fine example of success after having had a rocky start. and we have seen substantial completion of construction activities at over 70% of the national priority sites. thousands of other short-term actions have also been completed
. before charging headlong into solving problems that are not backed up with with a factual record, and with no showing whatsoever of a need for the legislation, i recommend that this body first gather the evidence that it needs from e.p.a., from states, local governments, from industry and communities, to better understand what if any problems need to be addressed. until then i fail to understand the purpose of this legislation other than to provide work for members of staff to obfuscate the enforcement of superfund and to, quite frankly, ignore the real problems which exist. superfund is cursed with the fact that it has major difficulty in being properly funded because the funding for it has long since expired and now the ability of the nation to fund the cleanup is not
available to us. this bill would do nothing to address any of the problems that are there to be seen. it's a bad bill. it should be rejected. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from ohio is recognized. mr. johnson: i yield five minutes to our colleague from illinois, mr. shimkus. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. shimkus: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the chair: without objection. mr. shimkus: well, it's great to be on the floor here with my friends as we talk about moving pieces of legislation. and it's unfortunate that we're no longer debating society, we're just a statement society, whether we're going back to what's true and right in language of the bill or what's not. let me talk to folks of how we got to this position. becoming subcommittee chairman in the last congress, i talked to my members of my committee
and my staff and i said, there's no perfect piece of legislation, there's no perfect piece of law. what are some things that we can fix to make this process go better? and it wasn't just our ideas. we went to the states. the states have a huge responsibility, and i think if people watch the body of information that's coming out of our committee, we've given a lot of differences to the states because they're the ones who live closest to these locations, so we bring in the council of the states -- environmental council of the states. we're bringing in all the stakeholders and say, what is it about the federal law that drives you crazy and if we fixed it would make your life better? hence these three pieces of legislation that have been rolled into -- rolled into one bill to make it to the floor. reducing excessive deadline obligations.
it allows the e.p.a. to review legislation on solid waste disposal when never. you know what the law says, regardless if the law works or not, you got to review it every three years. and you know what happens when that law is in there? regardless if it works, regardless there's no complaints, you got to review it. so that's right for litigation. you don't do it within the timeline, whether you need to or not, let's do something. so that's why all we're saying is, if the law was good, if there's no complaints, don't have an automatic timeline of having to review it in three years. the states said, yeah, we like that. part of the problem with the superfund is huge amounts of money go to litigation. surprise, surprise. we want to get money away from litigation to remediation. that's all.
-- that's all we're trying to do. the bill also requires e.p.a. prior to developing new financial responsibility requirements, that's the key, financial responsibility requirement. what do you have to have available if you're going to do this site in case something goes wrong and you need cleanup, what's the financial requirement, what's the bonding you need? all we're saying is, don't change the rules. and if you're going to change the rules for financial bonding while the process on the site is being operated, wouldn't it be good to talk to the states and let people know that the federal government's going to change the rules in the operation of a new site? states said, good idea, you ought to look at that. one other part of the bill is the federal and state partnership environmental protection act of 2013 which requires the e.p.a. to consult with states when undergoing a removal action. so usually what happens, the
superfund site, federal government gets involved, they are going to help do the majority of the cleanup, but guess who has the long-term observation and administration costs of the site? the states do. all we're saying is, if we're going to start to remediate in a state, let's have the states sit down and work with the .p.a. so the states know its long-term costs. pretty simple. and the last one, which i always find pretty amazing that my friends on the other side are arguing about, protecting the federal government to pollute. all we're saying is, when the federal government's polluted a site, the federal government ought to clean it up. we make everyone else do it. we hold everyone else responsible, but, no, if the federal government's polluted, we give them immunity. sovereign immunity. they don't have to do anything. so this law says, it's about
time that the federal government comply with the same laws that states do and other individuals do. this is a position my colleagues have had for many, many years. in all the portions of this bill that i thought they would be all for is moving this position that the federal government should comply with the same laws as everyone else does. and for my colleagues on the other side to protect governmental polluters, i just find unbelievable. so the process was good. we had hearings. we had markups. we had amendments agreed to. i'm proud of my colleagues in bringing these bills to the floor. i'm glad of the participation by the states and i look forward to them moving the bill and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from ohio reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. tonko: thank you, mr. chair. i will yield, but before so doing, i'd like to make a few
comments. i keep hearing from the bill supporters that the states need and want this legislation. i'm a little confused by those statements. my staff called the association of state and territorial solid waste management officials, and they do not support the legislation. we also called the environmental council of the states which represents the state environmental commissioners and they have not endorsed the legislation for the house. i'm somewhat confused by the statements being made here. i'd ask, mr. chair, if we could please yield to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. pallone, who has fought for many environmental causes through the committee on behalf of his home state of new jersey, and for that matter for this nation. so we yield three minutes to the gentleman from new jersey. the chair: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for three minutes. mr. pallone: thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank my colleague from new york, the ranking member of the subcommittee. mr. chairman, i rise today to urge my colleagues to vote no
on h.r. 2279. this is an unnecessary and ill-advised piece of legislation. it would significantly weaken our country's hazardous waste laws and further shift the burden of cleaning up these sites from the entities responsible for the contamination to the taxpayer instead. mr. chairman, polluters are already not paying their fair share to help clean up america's worst toxic sites and this bill only makes things worse. since 1995 when the superfund taxes expired, taxpayers have shouldered an unreasonable responsibility to pay for these cleanups. i have a bill, the superfund polluter pays act, which would re-authorize the original superfund fees and make polluters, not taxpayers, pay the cost of cleaning up superfund sites. congress needs to reinstate the polluter pays taxes so the industry's most responsible for polluting our land and water are held responsible for cleaning up our toxic legacy, a
legacy that severely affects my home state of new jersey. begin, we face the prospect -- again, we face the prospect of the majority dismantling our nation's critical environmental laws. the bill before us today is really a combination of three bills, all of which will hinder hazardous cleanup all across the country. and i'm especially troubled by provisions in the bill that enables states to veto sites from being added to the superfund national priority list as well as the provision that weakens the requirement for companies who deal with hazardous teels to carry insurance -- materials to carry insurance. absence this insurance requirement, it will be easier for a company to go bankrupt and shirk its responsibility to clean up contamination that it has caused. so mr. chairman, cleaning up superfund sites creates jobs by converting the contaminated areas into productive land, ready for redevelopment and employing engineers, construction workers and others engaged in the cleanup. i've seen in this in my home
state. my county of middle secretaries has more sites than -- middlesex has more sites. they are used for recreation, for manufacturing, for shopping centers, so many other things. we don't want to weaken the superfund law. that would be a huge mistake. so i urge all of my colleagues to vote no on this legislation, and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from ohio is recognized. mr. johnson: thank you, mr. chairman. just a couple quick points of clarification. my friend and colleague, mr. tonko, and i agree on many things and we have a history of having worked together to hold the e.p.a. to commonsense rules and i appreciate that, but i need to clarify just a couple of quick things that my colleague mentioned. from the environmental council of states, i have here before me a letter that i'd like to enter into the record, mr. chairman, stating that the
environmental council of states is writing to support many of the concepts included in this legislation. and all three pieces of this legislation. and the other organization, the association of state and territorial solid waste management office officials, they don't take positions on legislation. so no matter what the piece of legislation would be, if you called them, they're not going to take a position on it one way or another. that doesn't mean they do not support this. they simply don't take positions. so i wanted to make those clarifications for the record. and without objection, i'd like into the record. the chair: the request is covered under general leave. mr. johnson: with that i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. tonko: yes, i'm going to yield to the gentleman from oregon, but before so doing, while the environmental council of the states may have supported some concepts of the
bill, they have not moved to endorse the bill. and that -- i'll stand by my statement. next, a stauveraged defender of the environment and a -- staunched defender of the environment and a great friend from the state of oregon, mr. blumenauer is going to address us next and we're going to yield three minutes to the gentleman from oregon. the chair: the gentleman from oregon is recognized for three minutes. mr. blumenauer: thank you. i appreciate the gentleman's courtesy and leadership here on the floor. when i first heard we were going to be dealing with the superfund and reforms and modifications, i was originally encouraged. i've been working with these issues in the federal level and before that for over -- almost 20 years as a local official dealing with the problems of pollution and superfund sites. i know that there are many challenges to the process, that it is -- it is chronically and dramatically underfunded, it's complex, it's cumbersome. some of them are not fully
equipped to be able to manage it, and we've learned a little bit in the almost 30 years since the legislation was passed. but i was -- i'm sad to say sadly disappointed, because rather than dealing in a thoughtful bipartisan way to try and refine the process, we're actually taking a step backward. it is -- this would water down the requirements and provide fewer dollars, blurring lines of responsibility. this is not going to help. e superfund tax expired in 1995, and since then we've been shifting this burden away from the petro chemical industry that created these problems in the main, shifting it to the general fund taxpayer in a scarce and dwindling supply. this isn't going to move away from litigation. it's going to make it more likely if it were enacted.
confusing people, changing the rules that people have operated under is not going to be helpful. it's going to slow it down further. i am deeply concerned that the department of defense has not fully met its obligation as the largest generator of superfund sites in the united states. i've been on this floor repeatedly attempting to work through the budget process and the authorization process for us to step up and do right by people. i've got a harbor that was the staging area for three wars and a significant amount of the pollution there that we're dealing with is the result of that defense department operation. but what we're doing here would, according to the department of defense, disrupt the national priority scheme in which the most contaminated federal sites are cleaned up
first, that it would increase litigation, delay cleanups and waste already limited resources. now, by pretending that somehow the state government is going to take the lead and compel federal agencies to do things that may in fact be contrary to federal law is not going to speed this process further. it's not going to make it easier. it's going to continue what is the problem. people today dig in their heels. we haven't actually moved forward to try and work carefully in a -- may i have 30 additional second? mr. tonko: we'll yield the gentleman from oregon an additional one minute. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. blumenauer: in a bipartisan session refine it, we're going ahead and try to superimpose on top of it things that will undercut that effort. now, i am critical of what the federal government has done in
had some areas. but as a practical matter, local governments, when a failure to zone, plan, regulate and to exercise oversight, have often been responsible for many of these problems and they have in the main not stepped up and been aggressive with the strictest of standards and this would superimpose what are potentially less rigorous or in fact no local standards, be able to cost shift to the federal government without any interest in providing the resources for the federal government to do so. i would hope that our friends are sincere, would spend time with people who are in the trenches and look for ways, on a bipartisan, thoughtful way, to refine the superfund program so that in the spirit of what originally created the legislation, we can do something that will do better by our constituents, better by the environment and better by the taxpayer. the chair: the gentleman's time
has expired. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from ohio is recognized. >> mr. chairman, may i inquire as to how much time i have remaining? the chair: the gentleman from ohio has 10 minutes remaining and the gentleman from new york has 7 3/4 minutes remaining. mr. johnson: mr. chairman, i continue to reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from ohio continues to reserve. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. tonko: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield three minutes to mr. ellison who has organized the environmental justice advocates of his home state of minnesota. and also the chair of the progressive caucus in the house. i would yield three minutes to the gentleman from minnesota. the chair: the gentleman from minnesota is recognized for three minutes. mr. ellison: mr. speaker, the polluter pays. the polluter pays and that's a simple idea with very broad appeal. the company responsible for causing the pollution should have to pay for the cleanup. makes sense. this bill would relieve many companies that have responsibility when it comes to the most polluted sites in the country. instead, taxpayers would pick up the tab.
it's another bailout. currently if a company is part of an industry with a record of pollution, it needs to post a bond or buy insurance. this requirement helps to prevent a company from polluting until it goes out of bounds of, leaving -- until it goes out of business, leaving the taxpayer with the bill for the cleanup. h.r. 2279 allows the company to skirt its financial responsibility. in essence, to internalize all the money they make while they're polluting, but to externalize all the cost after they're done and leaving everyone else to shoulder the burden. that's not free market enterprise. that's crony capitalism. the bill would also reduce funding for these highly contaminated sites. it should be increasing funding for these sites so that the cleanup does not drag on for decades. less funding is not the answer because funding is already so short, these superfund sites, we have to prioritize the worst sites for cleanup and the result is the national priorities list.
this bill would disrupt that priority system. so, mr. speaker, instead of letting polluters off the hook, we should use the money to put people to work by cleaning up the long list of toxic sites all over the country that are exposing people to toxic waste, pushing down profit values and inhibitting economic growth and as i close, i would just like to say, this bill, like so many bills offered by the majority, rests upon a falsehood. and that is that health and safety regulations hurt the economy. they don't. it's not true. it is a false statement and there's no evidence for them to prove that it is true and yet they bant us to believe -- they want us to believe that as these companies deregulate and get tax cuts, that they're going to use the extra money they get in order to create jobs which they never do. reject this bill, it's a bad idea. the chair: the gentleman from minnesota yields back. the gentleman from ohio is recognized. mr. johnson: i continue to
reserve. the chair: the gentleman from ohio reserves. the gentleman from new york is ecognized. mr. tonko: mr. chair, i have no further speakers. and i'm prepared to close. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. tonko: mr. chair, h.r. 2279 is a deeply flawed bill that will increase costs, increase litigation, slow down the pace of cleanups and indeed put the public at risk. it will do nothing to make cleanups at contaminated sites more efficient or more effective. the proponents' sbenleded goals for this legislation are -- sbenleded goals for this legislation are -- intended goals for this legislation are not reflected in the language. we should do more for people living in communities who deal with toxic legacies, to deal with hazardous substances properly. if we want to prevent new superfund sites from being created and to clean up contaminated sites in communities and convert them
from liabilities to productive assets, we must reject h.r. 2279. i oppose this legislation and urge my colleagues to do the same. with that, mr. chair, i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from new york yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from ohio is recognized to close. mr. johnson: thank you, mr. chairman. in closing, i want to go back and revisit just briefly some of the cost implications or the allegations of cost implications of today's legislation that we're considering. c.b.o. carefully analyzed all three of the bills that were consider -- we'ring canner doctor that we're considering today and here's what they -- that we're considering today and here's what they said. c.b.o. estimates that in some cases implementing this legislation could affect the pace of discretionary spending if priorities for cleanup activities change. however, c.b.o. expects that total cost of fulfilled federal responsibilities under circumstance la would be little changed unthis legislation.
this is directly from the c.b.o. score for h.r. 226. based on information from the e.p.a., c.b.o. expects that removing the current requirement to review certain regulations every three years would reduce administrative costs. however, some of these savings in administrative expenses would be offset by spending on the new requirement to report to congress any financial responsibility requirements. c.b.o. estimates that on balance, implementing this legislation would not have a significant net impact on spending that is subject to appropriation over the 2014 -2018 period. enacting h.r. 2279 would not affect direct spending or revenues. this is directly from the c.b.o. score for h.r. 2279. c.b.o. estimates that enacting this legislation could increase the pace of discretionary spending, to the extent that
federal agencies accelerate spending related to cleanup activities or pay additional fines and penalties imposed by the states. however, c.b.o. expects that aggregate long-term costs to fulfill federal responsibilities would be little changed under the legislation. in addition, h.r. 2318 would increase direct spending to the extent that fines and penalties were paid from the treasury's judgment fund. however, c.b.o. expects that any incremental spending from that fund would probably be insignificant. c.b.o. estimates that any additional direct spending over the 2014-2023 period would be insignificant. c.b.o. goes on to say, enacting this legislation would not fundamentally change the federal government's responsibility to comply. according to the latest financial report of the united states, the federal government's current environmental remediation and
waste disposal liabilities exceed $300 billion under all environmental laws. under current law, federal agents -- agencies, in particular the departments of defense and energy, currently spend billions of dollars each year conducting cleanup activities. including reimbursements to state agencies for related services they provide. based on information from federal agencies and industry representatives, c.b.o. expects that enacting this legislation could induce federal agencies to accelerate their compliance activities at some facilities, possibly changing the timing of funding requests for certain projects. as a result, h.r. 2318 might lead to greater compliance costs for federal facilities for the years immediately following enabilityment, but the long-term cost -- enactment but the long-term cost of compliance would not change substantially. so i just wanted to make that point for the record.
and finally in closing, i want to urge my colleagues not to be misled by my colleagues' argument that this bill somehow prevents the e.p.a. from enacting financial assurance requirements. it simply does not. more than 30 years past before e.p.a. complied with the requirements of ciccla. all this bill does is require the e.p.a. to acknowledge the body of law developed by the states and other federal agencies. in the more than 30 years since the e.p.a. has failed to act. this legislation does not limit e.p.a. from establishing federal financial responsibility requirements or from setting a minimum level of financial assurance that is required. h.r. 2279 merely ensures that existing state and federal requirements can be used to meet those requirements. where appropriate. and ensures that existing state
protections that may already exceed a new federal minimum requirement will not be automatically voided. the purpose of the provision in the bill requiring the e.p.a. to report to congress before new financial responsibility requirements are enabilitied -- are enacted is to make sure that there is a legitimate need for new requirements. it does not prevent the e.p.a. from promulgating new requirements if they are necessary. my colleague argues that the bill is based on the false premise that states are implementing adequate financial assurance requirements. the bill does not prejudge state financial assurance requirements. what the bill does is require the e.p.a. to analyze the existing financial assurance requirements and it directs the e.p.a. to fill the gap left by financial assurance regulations developed by the states or other federal agencies. but make no mistake.
if there is a regulatory gap, and that the e.p.a. believes that gap needs to be filled, the e.p.a. is free to enact regulations. the purpose of financial assurance under 108-b was to prevent the creation of new superfund sites. the bill provides a mechanism for gathering information to decide whether the existing state and federal financial assurance requirements are adequate to protect the federal government from incurring response costs under the bill. the bill directs the e.p.a. to gather information and report back to us before it promulgates any additional requirements. it does not otherwise preclude the e.p.a. from enacting rules e.p.a. determines is necessary. and in fact, we understand that the e.p.a. has already been gathering this information from the states and other federal
agencies like the bureau of land management and the forest service. the bill simply sets out a process for us to learn what state and other agency requirements are out there and whether there's a need for more regulation before the e.p.a. creates yet another layer of regulation. contrary to what my colleagues are saying, the bill does not cut off any rulemaking by the e.p.a. and with that, mr. chairman, i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from ohio yields back the balance of his time. all time for general debate has now expired. pursuant to the rule, the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. in lieu of the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the committee on energy and commerce, printed in the bill, it shall be in order to consider as an original bill for the purpose of amendment under the five-minute rule an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of rules committee print 113-30. that amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be considered as read. no amendment to that amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be in order except those printed in part a of house report 113-322.
each such amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report by a member designated in the report, it shall be considered read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report, equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent. it shall not be subject to amendment and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question. it is now in order to consider amendment number 1 printed in part a of house report 113-322ment for what purpose does the gentlelady from rizona seek recognition? the clerk: amendment number 1 printed in part a offered by mrs. cinema of arizona. the chair: the gentlelady from arizona, mrs. sinema, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair now recognizes the gentlelady from arizona. ms. sinema: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. sinema: my amendment would strike language that eblingspands eligibility for
the national priorities list in section 204. my amendment also reinstates language that directs listings of the highest priority facilities for cleanup and guarantees that state recommended sites receive priority. in 2003 an agreement was finalized to provide much-needed cleanup to the north indian bend wash site in my district. the site, formerly used for industrial production and manufacturing, now spans several housing developments in which thousands of arizona families, students and seniors reside. since then, federal, state and local stakeholders have worked together to put a 25-year plan in place to address soil and water contamination at this site. but those plans have not gone uninterrupted. in javen 2008, more than 3 1/2 million gallons of contaminated water were mistakenly delivered from this site to homes in paradise valley. and in july of that same year, irrigation water used from this site triggered a study at an elementary school in my
district to determine if the school grounds had been contaminated. the north indian bend wash site is one of many sites across the country listed under the national priorities list, which provides much-needed funding to assist states with cleanup efforts. in keeping with the mission of the national priorities list, to protect public health, my amendment protects funding from important cleanup projects like the north indian bend wash that are taking place in hundreds of communities across the country. the underlying bill would expand eligibility for the national priorities list, stretching its mission beyond its current financial means, without providing additional funding to accommodate this expansion. my amendment prevents this unfunded expansion. in times of financial shortfall, we should ensure that we efficiently and responsibly use taxpayer dollars to prioritize projects by need and maximize our impact while i agree that this . is essential to crafting better environmental policy, h.r. 2279
would actually repeal language that requires the administration to prioritize the most urgent and impactful state projects for cleanup. i also believe striking the highest priorities facilities language as called for in the underlying bill may have the unintended consequence of diminishing the statutory role that states have in determining e.p.a.'s cleanup priorities. the underlying bill strikes the only clause in the current law that explicitly protects states' rights with n.p.l. without this amendment, this could result in the e.p.a. placing certain projects that states have requested at the bottom of their funding priorities while still following the law. my amendment reinstates the language directing e.p.a. to make tough choices that necessarily respect the interest of our states. we all share the desire to work towards commonsense reasonable solutions using tax dollars wisely, facilitating job growth and improving public health. this amendment provides a meaningful fix to the underlying bill by preventing an unfunded expansion of n.p.l.
and directing the administration to make tough choices that respect the rights of states. i urge my colleagues to vote yes on this amendment and, mr. chair, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady from arizona reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio seek recognition? mr. johnson: mr. chairman, i rise in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. johnson: mr. chairman, this amendment strikes the provision that would allow states to list a site on the national priorities list once every five years. states have a great deal of experience and expertise in cleaning up sites contaminated by has artous waste and states are often in -- hazardous waste and states are often in the better position to understand the local, regional issues affecting the cleanup. but there are times when it would be better addressed by the e.p.a. under cercla and there would be a significant delay in the listing process. and as a result, the bill also allows the state to designate a site that meets the criteria for listing to the national priorities list once every five years. cercla currently permits states
to list a site on the national priorities list only once. states have taken to calling this their silver bullet. using the silver bullet fast tracks the listing of the site on the n.p.l. and has states often avoid the lengthy listing process. some states have already used their silver bullet while others hold onto it and wait for a site that it believes better addressed by the e.p.a. under cercla. my colleague indicated in a dear colleague letter she circulated earlier today that the bill could result in e.p.a. placing silver bullet projects at the bottom of the priority list while still remaining in statutory compliance. while i appreciate my colleague's concern, this statement is both misleading and incorrect. the reality is that e.p.a. is place a silver bullet site or any other site, for that matter, at the bottom of its priority list at anytime.
this bill does not change the e.p.a.'s ability to prioritize sites for cleanup. cercla is the very -- is a very process-heavy process, and states are often reluctant to wait into the drawnout cercla process. they'd rather clean up the sites themselves and avoid the stigma associated with having a superfund site in their state. however, the only way for a site to get cleaned up is to get it on the superfund list. it's not an easy conclusion for states to come to and states are not clamoring to list on the national priorities list. so any argument that this bill would somehow result in an onslaught of new listings by the states would simply not play out. one of the arguments against allowing states to list the site on the n.p.l. is that it will somehow change the e.p.a.'s pry orization of how to clean -- prioritization of how to spend its cleanup dollars. because it's on the list does not mean it will automatically
receive money funding or jump in the front of the line to receive cleanup dollars. e.p.a. sets the priority for sites to be cleaned up and the e.p.a. decides how to spend its cleanup dollars. furthermore, if a site is listed and being cleaned up using federal dollars, states are financially invested in making sure the cleanup is done right. states must contribute 10% of the overall remedial cost and all of the long-term operation and the maintenance costs. and with that i urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment, and i continue to reserve the balance of my time the the chair: the gentleman from ohio reserves. the gentlelady from arizona is recognized. ms. sinema: thank you, mr. chair. i yield to my colleague from new york, mr. sean patrick maloney, one minute. the chair: the gentleman from new york is recognized for one minute. ms. malone orry i rise in support of my colleague's amendment. there are nine superfund sites where i am from in the hudson
valley in new york. sites are now engines of economic development and i want to credit the good folks at the e.p.a., including my friend, judith, who leads region 2. but one hudson valley with poison in their water has waited over 10 years for a solution. e.p.a. began cleanup at the site in hopewell junction in 2003 and officially added hopewell to the superfund national priority list in 2005. hopewell junction isn't an empty brownfield. it's a community full of children and families who need our help and who need our help now. hopewell could be a neighborhood anywhere, a neighborhood where families shouldn't have to choose between clean water and their children's health, between selling their house or staying in a place where they grew up and love but is now contaminated. my neighbors, like deborah hall, have put blood, sweat and tears into this effort for 10 years to try to clean up hopewell, 10 years telling anyone that would listen that
hopewell must be a priority because they can't wait. it's outrageous and they deserve better from their government and i support this amendment to keep our priorities straight and i urge my colleagues to do the same. and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from ohio is recognized. mr. johnson: mr. chairman, i continue to reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentlelady from arizona is recognized. with one minute remaining. ms. sinema: thank you, mr. chair. i yield myself the balance of the time. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. sinema: i chair the desire to increase the input provided by and the role of states in listing facilitied on the national priorities list. but by -- states on the national priorities list. but adding sites, we may diminish the effectiveness of this important program. i'm also concerned that the underlying bill, by striking the current statutory language that directs e.p.a. to give state recommended sites priority could have an unintended consequence of decreasing the role of states in this process. for these reasons, mr. chair, i urge my colleagues to support the amendment. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from ohio is recognized for two minutes.
mr. johnson: mr. chairman, thank you very much. mr. chairman, ironically, the e.p.a. often pushes states to identify more sites that the e.p.a. can put on the list. so the e.p.a. can argue for more cleanup funding. the e.p.a. incentivizes states to identify sites that meet the listing criteria by giving the states that identify sites more funds to do initial site assessments. so the e.p.a. wants more sites on the n.p.l., and the e.p.a. wants the states to assist with identifying n.p.l. sites, but the e.p.a. does not want to relinquish control over the actual selection of the appropriate sites. we're trying to help fix that. gain, i urge a no vote from my colleagues on the sinema amendment. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: all time having expired, the question son the amendment offered by the
gentleman from -- is on the amendment offered by the gentlelady from arizona. all those in favor say aye. all those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. the amendment is not agreed to. the gentlelady from arizona. ms. sinema: mr. chair, i ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlelady from arizona will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 2 printed in part a of house report 113-322. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? mr. tonko: mr. chair, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 2 printed in part a of house report 113-322 offered by mr. tonko of new york. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 455, the gentleman from new york, mr. tonko, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. tonko: thank you, mr. chair. my amendment adds a savings clause to h.r. 2279 to avoid unintended consequences and detrimental impacts on current and future site cleanup efforts. we certainly know that the
actual provisions of the bill trump the intended goals of the legislation. if, as the supporters of this bill claim, will not increase litigation, it will not increase delay or future site cleanups, my amendment would have no effect. however, if the administration's analysis is correct, and i believe it is, my amendment will keep current site cleanups on track and ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent on cleaning up contaminated sites and not spent in courtrooms. if the committee had taken additional time to do the necessary oversight that would enable us to identify the best option for improving the superfund program, my amendment would not be necessary. but the many problems with this bill that democratic members of the committee have raised and that are echoed in the administration's analysis make my amendment truly necessary. as the administration's statement of policy points out,
h.r. 2279 severely reduces the federal government's role in the cleanup of federal sites. the federal government's ability to set a worst first prioritization agenda for site cleanups is eliminated. the federal government pays the vast majority of the costs for site cleanups on federal lands and sites on the national priorities list. the federal government certainly should consult with the state on sites within its borders, but especially in cases where federal lands, federal tax dollars, federal employees and federal operations are concerned, the federal government should have the last word. my amendment provides a prudent insurance policy to ensure that we do not use limited superfund resources to litigate rather than to mitigate. my amendment ensures that we move forward. it ensures that we clean up these sites and convert them from revenue liabilities to
revenue enhancements. it ensures that we reduce public health risks from contamination. with that i urge my colleagues to support my amendment and, mr. chair, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from -- for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio seek recognition? mr. johnson: mr. chairman, i rise in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for five minutes. mr. johnson: mr. chairman, i'm sure my colleague's amendment is well-intentioned and in fact, i agree with him. i do not want to see an increase in litigation or a slowdown in the cleanup process or a decrease in funds available to clean up superfund sites, but this amendment is not necessary because h.r. 2279 will not do any of those things. cercla has been implemented for over 30 years, and the e.p.a.'s developed many practices and policies during that time. some of the policies work and are consistently implemented but many of the policies or practices are ineffective or
aren't consistently applied across the e.p.a. regions. the e.p.a. has done a good job of getting contaminated sites cleaned up under cercla, but that doesn't mean that we can't do better. states are often in a better position to understand the local or regional issues affecting the cleanups and states are in well positioned o assist the e.p.a. with all aspects. by ensuring that the states have a meaningful role in the federal-state partnership under cercla and making sure that federal entities are on a level playing field with private enits engaged in cercla cleanups, we can do better and get more sites cleaned up faster. my colleague's amendment implies that the purpose of this bill is to thwart cleanup efforts. on the contrary, the purpose of this legislation is to make sure sites get cleaned up in a timely fashion by enhancing the existing role of the states which are in the best position
to assess the conditions at the sites. the bill adjusts the topdown culture of cercla cleanup, but the bill does not alter e.p.a.'s lead role in implementing cercla. states are already involved in the cercla process. ensuring that states have a meaningful and substantial role will not slow down the cleanup process. my colleague's amendment also implies that h.r. 2279 will reduce the amount of funds available for cleanup. this is simply not the case. congress decides on the amount of money to be appropriated to the e.p.a. or other federal agencies for cleanups, and that is not changed by this legislation. it is up to the federal agencies to prioritize how they spend the appropriated cleanup funds, and nothing in this bill does not change how appropriated money for cleanup is spent and with that i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from
ohio reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. tonko: mr. chair, our colleague and my friend from the state of ohio indicates that the measure will not -- this bill will not increase litigation or increase costs or delay ongoing or future site cleanups, and so then my amendment would not affect the measure before the house. so it really is a statement in support of the amendment. there's no just reason offered then to not support the amendment. with that, again, i'd encourage my colleagues to support the amendment. the chair: does the gentleman reserve or -- mr. tonko: with that i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from ohio is recognized to close. mr. johnson: i want to say how much i respect my colleague, mr. tonko. we continue to work together, have worked together and have had some successes in holding the e.p.a. accountable to the law, and i appreciate working with him. this amendment, although
well-intentioned, is drafted in such a way that makes it impossiblely vague. it is indetermineable whether a provision of the bill would increase the potential for litigation, and i continue to urge my colleagues to vote no on the tonko amendment and with that i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from ohio yields back the balance of his time. all time having expired, the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from new york. those in favor will say aye. those opposed will say nay. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. the amendment is not agreed to. mr. tonko: mr. chairman. the chair: the gentleman from new york. mr. tonko: i ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from new york will be ostponed. pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, proceedings will now resume on those amendments printed in part a of house 113-332 amendment number 1 by mrs. sinema of arizona. amendment number 2 by mr. tonko of new york. the chair will reduce to two
minutes the minimum time for any electronic vote after the first vote in the series. the unfinished business is the request for a recorded vote on amendment number 1 printed in part a of house report 113-322 by mrs. sinema on which thes no prevailed by voice vote. the clerk will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 1 printed in part a of house report 113 -- 113-322 offered by mrs. sinema of arizona. the chair: a recorded vote has been requested. those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the chair: on this vote the yeas are 189, the nay as are 228. the amendment is not adopted. the unfinished business is the request for a recorded vote on amendment number 2 printed in part a of house report 113-23 -- 322 by the gentleman from new york, mr. tonko, on which further proceedings were postponed and thes no prevailed by voice vote. the clerk: amendment number 2 printed in part a of house report 113-322 offered by mr. tonko of new york. the chair: a recorded vote has been requested. those in support of the request
for a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be a two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the chair: on to in this 190, the nays are 227. the amendment is not adopted. the question is on the amendment in the nature of a substitute. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the amendment is adopted. accordingly, under the rule, the committee rises. the committee of the whole house on the state of the union, having had under consideration h.r. 2279, and
pursuant to house resolution 455, i report the bill back to the house with an amendment adopted in the committee of the whole. the speaker pro tempore: the chair of the committee reports that the committee has had under consideration h.r. 2279 and pursuant to house resolution 455 reports the bill back to the house with an amendment. under the rule the previous question is ordered. the question is on the adoption of the amendment in the nature of a substitute. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the question is on engrossment and third reading of the bill. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. third reading. the clerk: a bill to amend the solid waste disposal act, leaning to review of regulations under such act and to amend the comprehensive environmental response, compensation and liability act of 1980, relating to financial responsibilities for classes of facilities. the speaker pro tempore: the ouse will come to order.
the house will come to order. will all members take conversations off the floor and members please clear the well. the house will come to order. please take all conversations from the floor of the house and please, members, clear the ell. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i have a motion to recommit at desk. the chair: is the gentleman opposed to the bill? >> i am opposed in its current form. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman qualifies. the clerk will report the motion. the clerk: mr. peters of california moves to recommit the bill to the committee on energy and commerce with instructions to report the same
back to the house for thewith with the following amendments. at the end of the bill, add the following new title. tle 4, preserving the -- the speaker pro tempore: is there objection? without objection. so ordered. the house will come to order. please take all conversations off the floor and please, members, cease conversation. the house will come to order. the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. speaker. this is the final amendment to the bill which will not kill the bill or send it back to committee. and if adopted the bill will precede immediately to final passage as amended. my amendment simply states that the bill won't take effect if it results in fewer cleaned up sites, if it shifts responsibilities from polluters to american taxpayers, and if there's -- >> mr. speaker the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: the entleman is correct.
he house will come to order. the house will come to order. the gentleman will continue. mr. peters: thank you. and if there's greater exposure to car sin generals for schools, hospitals and nursing homes within five miles of the contaminated site. mr. speaker, for too long we've heard as an article of faith that we have to choose between a prosperous economy and a clean environment. the idea that we can't have both. but that is a false choice. people in san diego and people around the country know that we deserve nothing less than both. we need to provide both economic opportunity and clean air and water for our future generations. and my first career, for 15 years, i practiced environmental law in the public and private sectors. many of my clients were businesses or local governments that struggled to understand and follow what they felt were overly complex and time-consuming regulatory
requirements. and from this experience, i have no doubt that overly burdensome red tape hurts our economy. so i hope that in any case, where we can streamline and simplify environmental relying -- regulations, while still protecting and enhancing the health of our rivers, lakes, oceans and air, everyone in this congress would be onboard. and i hope that we all agree that real, substantive protections are important to ensuring that our drinking water, ocean water and the land we live and farm on are safe for our children, the elderly and our families. these resources are economic assets that we have inherited, that we have a responsibility to preserve and that we must be active sturebeds in protecting -- stewards in protecting. at the heart of the superfund program is a commonsense idea that those who cause pollution would pay to clean it up. the underlying bill turns away from this basic principle and instead puts hardworking taxpayers who didn't cause the pollution on the hook for the expensive cleanups.
that's not right and it's not a good incentive for preventing future contamination. the bill creates an unfunded mandate by allowing states to move polluted sites off of their regulatory plates to the federal superfund list, shifting responsibility from corporations and states to the federal taxpayer. and just as the congress has slashed the superfund budget 40% over the last five years, if we add more sites to the already -- >> mr. speaker, the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: the entleman is correct. the house is not in order. please take all conversations ff the floor of the house. the house is still not in order. the gentleman may continue. mr. peters: thank you. if we add more sites to the already burdened federal list, we will certainly delay cleanups at the expense of human health and the environment. second, the bill for the first time ever would subject our
federal employees to unfair penalties and perhaps even imprisonment if in the good faith execution of their duties they find that they can't comply with a state order because it directly conflicts with federal law. putting federal workers who are tasked with cleaning up these heavily polluted sites in this position is beyond bad management, it's cruelly unfair and it effectively scares employees from doing the very job we pay them as taxpayers to do. finally, the department of defense has seriously -- serious concerns with the bill, as it would make it difficult to clean up many of the nearly 10,000 superfund sites on military bases. according to the military, the bill would waste money on unnecessary litigation instead of actual site cleanup. just north of my district in san diego, a part of marine corps base camp pendleton is a superfund site. nine areas of soil and groundwater have been contaminated by pesticides, -- pesticides, metals, herb side and more.
these water -- herbicides and more. these waters flow into the delay and every day we the cleanup of this site, our service members, civilians working on the site and numerous endangered species in the region face adverse risks. we cannot let this continue. in these lean fiscal times, we must make the most of limited federal resources and taxpayer dollars. this legislation would bring with it unnecessary litigation, more spending that doesn't go to fixing the problems, exactly the kind of waste we are trying to eliminate from the federal budget. my motion to recommit ensures that we are both careful stewards of the taxpayer dime and the environment. we must support laws that protect human health and the environment and continue to enforce the idea that polluters, not hardworking taxpayers, pay for what they pollute. i call on my colleagues not to fall for the false choice between growing the economy and protecting the environment. we can and we must do both. vote yes on this motion and stand with me to protect the
taxpayer, protect children's health and ensure that those who cause pollution pay to clean it up. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio rise? mr. johnson: mr. speaker, i rise in opposition to the motion. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes in opposition to the motion. mr. johnson: mr. speaker, our goal with this legislation is clear and straightforward. we want to modernize outdated environmental laws. bill mr. gardner wrote makes modest improvements in the law. it allows e.p.a. to review and revise its solid waste disposal as necessary. in a hearing that we had, we asked a mayor from new york -- or from new jersey, would you rather clean up the trash or revise regulations? the mayor made it clear he'd rather focus on getting the real work done instead of getting dogged -- bogged down in governmental red tape. the part of the bill written by
the gentleman from ohio, mr. latta, says that federal facilities should behave like anyone else in the state and meet the same natural resource protection requirements. now go figure. requiring the federal government to live under the same laws as the american people, the states and private sector businesses have to live under. this is not a new concept. it's already the case under the clean air act. nd let's just narrow the gap for the super fund. finally the portion i wrote ensures that states have a place at the discussion table throughout the process that the e.p.a. sets for developing remediation plans. i urge a no vote on the motion to recommit and a yes on final passage. with that, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio yields back. without objection, the previous question is ordered on the motion to recommit. the question is on the motion to recommit. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the
noes have it. for what purpose does the -- >> i ask for a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: a recorded vote is requested. those favoring a recorded vote will rise. a sufficient number having risen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. pursuant to the rule, the five-minute vote on the motion to recommit willing followed by a five-minute vote on the passage of the bill if ordered. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 188, the nays are 25, the motion is not adopted. -- are 25, the motion is not -- are 225, the motion is not adopted. for what purpose does the gentleman rise? >> i ask for a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: a recorded vote is requested. those in favor of a recorded vote will rise. a sufficient number having risen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
members will take their conversations off the floor. the house will come to order. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from guam seek recognition? without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. bordallo: i'd like to ask my colleagues to join me here as i deliver this eulogy for a former member of congress.
mr. speaker, i rise to pay blass, o the late mr. guam's former congressman and a retired brigadier general in the united states marine corps. ben passed away last night at the age of 85. ben was a long-time friend whose lifetime of service to graham and our nation has been an inspiration to generations. as a survivor of the japanese occupation of guam during world war ii, ben had a strong sense of patriotism and duty to our country. he was commissioned as an officer of the marine corps in 1951 and went on to become the first to achieve the rank of brigadier general. in 1984, ben was elected to serve in this house of representatives. where he represented the people of guam for four terms. throughout my time in congress, ben has been a strong source of support and guidance. i'm grateful for his console
and friendship and i'll miss him dealer. i join the people of guam in mourning the loss of congressman ben blaz. our thoughts and prayers are with his sons, mike and tom and their families. and i now ask for the house to observe a moment of silence in remembrance of congressman laz. ms. bordallo: i thank my colleagues who have joined me here, mr. speaker, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from florida seek recognition? ms. ros-lehtinen: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks.
the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you. thank you, mr. speaker. i stand in strong opposition to attempts in the omnibus budget bill to restore any u.s. funding to a corrupt entity that is an extension of the antiamerica, antiisrael -- anti-america, anti-israel u.n. agenda. he's planning to pull a bait and switch with the american public. it says it had will use our constituents' money on world heritage sites in our districts but what it really wants is to use the funds that it lost when it admitted palestine to its club. unesco knew what would happen to it if it admitted palestine but the agency countered -- counted on this administration to give it the money anyway. and not only is money fungible, mr. speaker, but studies indicate that there is no guarantee that this designation of world heritage site is beneficial to the local economy. taxpayer money for unesco is included in next week's omnibus budget bill. unesco must not receive a dime
unless it reverses its decision on palestine. i urge my colleagues to see through this guise and to continue to support american principles and u.s. law. i thank the speaker for the time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. cohen: thank you, mr. speaker. there's been a lot of discussion recently about extending benefits to the unemployed and it's critical we do that. but i'd like to talk about a group of 226 people who were in my district who have jobs but still can't come to work, performing those jobs, and get paid. they worked at the kellogg plant in memphis making cereal. they've been locked out by kellogg since october 22 due to a national contract dispute. the company, with sales of $14 billion at last estimate, hopes to bring in so-called casual
employees who would be paid less and work fewer hours and get fewer benefits than the steady middle class jobs that the company offers now. i'm proud kellogg's in my district and i've toured their plant. but when i fly in and out of memphis and drive up and down airways boulevard, i go past the kellogg plant and i see those employees out each day, day and night, even in 10-degree weather earlier this week, like the post office, they're out in rain, snow and sleet. i see them on holidays, weekends, you name it, fighting for their rights, standing up for them sfs. it's time end to this lockout -- fors them -- for themselves. it's time to end this lockout, put people back to work. thank you and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. poe: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. poe: mr. speaker, the united states is gearing up for their next super bowl.
unfortunately so are human sex traffickers. super bowl sunday is not just a sporting event of the year, but it has become america's traveling human trafficking magnet. exporters room the streets looking for prey. last year while the two teams battled it out on the field, a young trafficing girl preyed for her life while being sold for sex. these are women and children who have been taken as sex slaves, become sought after entertainment on super bowl weekend. new jersey's efforts toward eliminatinging this dastardly deed are to be commended. hopefully they are successful in curving modern day slavery at the super bowl. but this crime ought not to be. not at a major sporting event, not in our neighborhoods. that's why caroline maloney and i have introduced the justice for victims of trafficking act which will go after the traffickers and the consumers of this slavery. we need to protect victims and prosecute the slave trafficking deviants. and that's just the way it is. i yield back.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> rise to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore:, without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one -- the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, our priority in congress should be to find solutions to boost our economy and get people back to work. while we are still working to get our economy back on track, americans need to be able to feed their families and support themselves. it's about fairness. that is why i urge my colleagues today to extend the emergency unemployment insurance, for every $1 spent on unemployment insurance we generate $1.55 in new economic activity in its first year. mr. garcia: which is why we create more jobs and will get americans back to work. in florida alone, 70,000 people have lost an essential lifeline during the holiday season. and if we don't act, this number could double in the next six months.
mr. speaker, this is simply a question of fairness. it's the right thing to do for our families and for our economy. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from wisconsin seek rec fission? mr. duffy: i ask the speaker for unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and extends my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. duffy: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to talk obamacare this afternoon and the fact that the president came out to the american people and said that healthcare.gov was going to work like amazon and kayak. websites where consumers are able to go, shop for products and if they find a product that they like, then and only then do they have to put in their personal information. their date of birth, their credit card, their full name, their address. healthcare.gov doesn't work that way. before americans can shop for
products on healthcare.gov, they have to put in all of their information. their address, their date of birth, their social security number, into a website that isn't secure. i'm introducing the browse act, to make sure that americans have an opportunity to search the website, look at products and only if they find a product that they like, only then do they have to put in their personal information. healthcare.gov should work like the rest of the internet and the marketplace. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from illinois seek recognition? without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. schakowsky: i rise today to commemorate the 50th anniversary of president johnson's announcement of the war on poverty. i recently had the opportunity to visit the linden b. johnson presidential library and museum in austin, texas, and i was astonished by just how much he and the congress were able to
accomplish during his time in office. since 1967, poverty has declined by more than 1/3. still, 49.7 million americans live in poverty, including 13.4 million children. but the war on poverty and the programs really worked. here's some of them. medicare, medicaid, food stamps, the elementary and secondary education act, head start, school lunch, child nutrition, migrant assistance, job score, legal assistance, small business and rural loans, indian reservation programs. all of those were put into effect and really worked. you know, dana millbank had an article today in "the washington post" where he said, and what's the response to the 50th anniversary? it's the republicans declaring war on the war on poverty. as they have for the last 50 years. it's time for us to work together and continue to end poverty. the speaker pro tempore: for
what purpose does the gentlelady from washington seek recognition? >> permission to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. it's with a very heavy heart that i rise today to honor the life of sergeant jacob hess. jacob is a 22-year-old american hero. the embodiment of the greatness that gave birth to the country he so deeply loved. mrs. mcmorris rodgers: raised in a military family after graduating from north central high school in spokane, washington, he joined the united states marine corps to serve and defend this country. jacob jacob lost his life a few days ago, new year's day, while supporting operation enduring freedom in afghanistan. he lost his life in the name of american freedom. he lost his life to protect all of ours. he leaves behind a community
that admired him, a country that pays him homage, and a family that has been frever changed by him. he was a son, a brother, and a husband. he says good-bye to the family that got the call they hoped they never would. may god bless jerget jacob hess. his -- sergeant jacob hess. his mother, kirsten, his father mike, his brother cameron, and his wife bridget. may god bless his family and all the brave men and women who answered america's call to freedom. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, it is the 50th anniversary of the war on poverty. though in many ways it's been a success, economic opportunity is still too often a stacked deck.
yesterday "the wall street journal" stated that j.p. morgan, the giant wall street bank, last year paid out nearly $22 billion due to misdeeds and misrepresentations. the stock market sets new records every day. wall street has recovered. when will main street? while this is happening, 41% of the unemployed people in my district have been out of work for more than 26 weeks. they've run out of unemployment because congress failed to act. the income difference between the wealthy and workers is greater than any time since 1920's. mr. enyart: mr. speaker, when will a nation that proclaims itself a bastion of freedom, both economic and personal, free the poor from the shack also of poverty. -- shackles of poverty. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to
address the house for one minute and revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. to thompson: i rise today congratulate the top three award winners for the civic engagement public speaking contest. students are nominated by classmates in recognition of speaking performances throughout the semester. students ,500 participate. their work is intended to spark public dialogue on matters of social or cultural importance. the contest is judge by representatives from pearson and the penn state college community. for this year's competition, amanda won first prize for her prize, "mandatory g.m.o. labeling," sara took second for ," work" driving down demand
"pritvi took third place for her work, "creating a safer society for all." i want to dodge garage late these winners for their hard work, creativity and passion for public engagement. thank you and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker in 1964, when president johnson declared war on poverty this, the richest nation in the world, had a poverty rate of 19%. mr. clyburn: by 1973, nine years later, that rate had been brought down to 11%. we were definitely winning the war on poverty. unfortunately, too many politicians found success running down the achievements of
the war on poverty, scapegoating welfare recipients and convincing people that the war on poverty was not worth fighting. but nothing could be further from the truth. for example, medicare and medicaid, two poverty programs, made a difference a tremendous difference, in the health security of older americans. these two anti-poverty programs have reduced the poverty rate of our senior citizens from over 30% to less than 10%. the congressional black caucus, 10-20-30 initiative, targets communities of need with an effective infrastructure investment. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks.
the speaker pro tempore: without objection the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. gallego: thank you, mr. speaker. i couldn't let the first week in congress go by without taking a moment to congratulate grand falls royalty. it's one of the smallest public schools in texas with a student head count of about 27 kids and they had 16 of those guys in uniform not so long ago to play in the state championship six-man football game and i'm proud to say that grand falls royalty defeated milford 73-28. grand falls royalty made their first debut in a state playoff game that was held in the home of the dallas cowboys, a $1.2 billion home of the dallas cowboys and frankly it was also called for the 13th time this season, it was called by the 45-point mercy rule. that was -- that meant the game
ended with 6:28 still to play in the fourth quarter. quite an accomplishment for a small school. one in west texas as i'm -- that i'm very, very proud of. congratulation it is grand falls royalty. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask -- i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: weather the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, the united states finds niths a period of great uncertainty in the face of a new short-term deal with iran. the fact that iran has finally come to negotiating table is only proof that sanctions are working. the strict sanctions have devalued iran's currency, crippled its economy and forced it to finally consider curbing its nuclear program. while we are hopeful for a broader deal it's imperative that the united states and international community remain vigilant.
a nuclear iran is the most pressing national security threat not only to the united states but also for our allies in the mideast. mr. quigley: as talks move forward, our security, and the security of our allies in the region, must remain our number one priority. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the gentleman from south carolina, mr. rice, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. mr. rice: thank you, mr. speaker. before i begin, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and to include extraneous materials on the topic of my special order. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. rice: mr. speaker, back last summer, when the president unilaterally announced that he was going to not enforce the
employer mandate under the affordable care act, i was quite surprised. the next day there was a news article in the "new york times" about it, democrat senator tom harkin was quoted in the article, he was one of the architects of the affordable care act and he said, speaking of the president, this was a law, how can he do that? huh can the president simply -- how can the president simply unilaterally choose to ignore the law? our founders, mr. speaker, designed a system of government based upon a separation of powers. the legislative branch enacts the laws and the executive branch, the president, enforces those laws.
they did that to protect our very, very fragile freedom and we cannot allow those separations to be eroded. one man who can both make the laws and enforce the laws is more a monarch than a president. article 2, section 3 of the in part ion requires that the president take care to faithfully execute the nation's laws. in 1792, when george washington was faced with enforcing the unpopular whiskey tax, he wrote in a letter -- he wrote in a letter that it is my duty to see that these laws are executed, to permit them to be trampled upon with impunity would be repugnant to that duty. president obama, on the other hand, has throughout his administration, picked and
chosen which laws or parts thereof he wishes to enforcement -- to enforcement -- to enforce. house resolution 442 would require the house of representatives to institute a lawsuit against the president to comply with this article 2, section 3 of the constitution. it lists four specific examples where the president has either failed to enforce the laws or has gone beyond the laws as written. one is the one-year delay in the employer mandate under obamacare which i mentioned earlier. another is the one-year extension of the substandard insurance policy which is by my definition is any insurance policy anyone would really want to buy. one is the waiving of the work requirements under the welfare laws, and one is the granting of
deferred removal action to illegal aliens. again, one man empowered to both enact the laws and enforce the laws is more a monarch than a president. this is not a republican issue, this is not a democrat issue, it's not a tea party action. this is not for messaging. h.r. 442 merely recognizes that no american, including the president, is above the law. what would we say if the next president came in and said, you know, i don't like the affordable care act and therefore i'm not going to enforce the individual mandate which would gut the law. what would we say if president
obama or any other president said, you know, i think the top income tax rate is too high, and therefore i'm not going to enforce it. or i'm not going to enforce the lowest income tax rate. and what's the difference between those situations and what president obama is doing right now, not enforcing the employer mandate under obamacare? after all, the supreme court has ruled that the penalties under obamacare are a tax. what would we say if a president said, i'm not going to enforce this tax against my friends but i will against my enemies. or i'm not going to enforce it against my contributors but i will against everybody else. and what's the difference between that situation and what the president has done granting 1,300 unilateral exemptions to different groups under the affordable care act?
if the president is allowed to make the law or to ignore those laws passed by congress, congress can just go home. there's no need for the legislative branch. in fact, when congress, following the president's lead with the house of representatives, passed a bill that would delay the employer mandate for a year, which the president had already announced he was going to do unilaterally, the president threatened to veto at this time 'd like to recognize representative martha roby from alabama for three minutes. mrs. roby: thank you so much, my colleague from south carolina. i just want to tell you that as
i travel throughout alabama's second district, the question i get over and over and over again is, what can we do about this executive overreach? i rise, mr. speaker, on behalf of alabama's second congressional district to lend my support to mr. rice's stop resolution, stop this overreaching presidency. i appreciate so much the diligent and thorough work of my colleague on this resolution, and i am proud to sign on as a co-sponsor. in this resolution, we are seeking to finally stop constitutional overreaches by the executive branch and restore the separation of powers by bringing legal action against the obama administration to compel the judiciary to rein it in. this resolution directs a civil action on behalf of the house of representatives in federal
court in the district of columbia challenging four unilateral, as have already been explained, obama administration actions that blatantly throughout constitutional restraint on the executive branch. i'm going to mention them again . specifically these include the lifting of the affordable care act mandated requirement on the type of insurance providers can offer, the one-year delay of the health law's employer mandate, the adoption of a policy, again, deporting certain illegal immigrants current to naturalization laws and the decision to waive the welfare-to-work laws. mr. speaker, the obama administration is certainly not the first administration to overstep its constitutional authority. i would say most presidents in recent history have pushed the limits of executive power, but the actions taken in the last
few years have been especially blatant and egregious, and president obama and his administration have recklessly stretched the scope of the executive branch aggressively imposing bad administrative rule or regulation. what they can't achieve legislatively. when i'm at home and talking to my constituents about this, you know, we talk about particularly the promulgation of rules. this is just a back door attempt to get done what the president can't get done here in the congress. and amazingly in some cases the administration has moved to delay, tweak or otherwise alter the very health care law he pushed to enact all while dismissing legislative proposals that would have the same effect but had the benefit of being legal because they came through the halls of congress. if allowed to stand unchecked,
such actions present a dangerous threat to our constitutional separation of powers. mr. speaker, i wish it wasn't necessary. i wish president obama and his administration had the self-restraint to act within their constitutional bounds, this this administration ttern of overstetching policies to win political battles leaves us no choice to act. our constitutional restraint on government are not always convenient for political or policy goals. but they are necessary for preserving the checks and balances that ensure this government still derives its authority from the people and not the other way around. we know that working through the courts can take time, but the judicial branch has shown a greater willingness of late to rein in these overreaches from the obama administration to.
two recent decisions that are worth noting have already struck down the obama administration's administration to act outside the constitutionally prescribed rule of the executive branch. one was the lower court's ruling, overturning the president's attempt to appoint the nlrb members without senate approval. and the other was a rare order from the d.c. circuit court of appeals rejecting the administration's attempt simply not to enforce laws related to yucca mountain and nuclear waste. mr. speaker, this stop resolution allows the house of representatives to seek the intervention of the judicial branch to rein in these executive abuses and reconstitute the separation of power. i hope it also sends a message to the obama administration that this body, as one half of a co-equal branch of the united
states government, we're not going to stand by and watch the erosion to this constitutional -- this country's constitutional framework. so, again, a sincere thank you to my colleague from south carolina for taking the lead on this, for showing leadership and i'm proud to be able to state to the people of alabama's second district when asked, what are you doing about this, so the stop resolution is the step in the right direction so thank you very much. mr. rice: thank you, mrs. roby. i yield five minutes to my friend and colleague from utah, mr. stewart. stewart stewart -- mr. stewart: mr. speaker, i want to thank my friend and colleague, tom rice, for introducing this important resolution, and i'm proud to stand in support of this. and i thank him for giving me a few minutes to discuss what is a very, very important issue today. my friend knows that i was a writer before i came to congress. i've written a number of books.
i spent a lot of time writing and studying about this great nation, the history of this nation, the history of the world and i think i know a little about some of these things. i think it's remarkable that unappreciated characteristics of general george washington, who i think many of our heroes, was his deference to the continental congress during the american revolution. although in many cases he knew what needed to be done. he always recognized that he derived his authority, he derived all of his power, not from himself but from the congress. and he tried and he understood that the congress is the organization and the body that held the power and the keys to a successful government. it is a lesson, as we're discussing here tonight, that unfortunately this president does not seem to appreciate nor
to even understand. our founding fathers made it very clear in the constitution that the responsibility of the president was to take care that e laws be faithfully executed. safefully executed, not selectively chosen, not preferred or some of them ignored, faithfully executed. it is his constitutional responsibility. but time and time again we have seen this president as he ignores this constitutionally mandated responsibility. he prefers to pick and to choose which laws he will enforce. i'd like to quote the judge, michael mcconnell, who recently wrote, quoting him now, the justice department's office of legal counsel, which advises the president on legal and constitutional issues, has repeatedly opined that the
president may decline to enforce laws which he believes are unconstitutional. but these opinions have always insisted that the president has no authority to refuse to enforce statutes which he simply opposes for policy reasons. this has become a very troubling trend for this president. he has, as my friend has already pointed out, among other examples, already declined to enforce immigration laws against a large number of illegal immigrants. he's chosen not to enforce work requirements that congress mandated as part of the 1990 welfare reform programs, programs which had broad bipartisan support and which everyone recognizes were very successful. has chosen to change the congressional requirements that states must meet under no child
left behind, and in none of these cases did he say he believed the laws were unconstitutional. he simply disagreed with the policy, and so refused to enforce those laws. now, we may or may not agree with the president on the merits of these policies, but as an institution, congress should be extraordinarily oncerned that the president is be a serving our role as ledge -- abserving our role as legislators and it's setting a very dangerous precedent. the president went to great lengths to convince the supreme court and other americans that the affordable health care act was indeed constitutional and he won that battle, which means he should have to enforce, he should have to enforce this law that he argued was constitutional or if not come to congress and ask for changes
to the law. but over the last few months we've seen numerous delays and exemptions to obamacare without any input at all from congress. now, once again, regardless of your views on obamacare, the president's actions should make everyone who respects the separation of power and the role of the executive very uncomfortable. can you imagine if governor romney had been elected to president and on his first day in office he said, i'm going to delay the employer mandate, do you think any of my colleagues from across the aisle would have supported him in that? or imagine if he said, again was illustrated before, i think the capital gains tax is too high. to get our economy going, i'm just not going to enforce the capital gains tax for a year. if he had done that, heads would have exploded all over washington, d.c. and why would that have
happened? because he doesn't have the authority. the constitution forbids it. we have a president, not a king. i don't want this president to act that way. i don't want a republican president to act that way. our founding fathers would be horrified if they were alive today and were watching what is happening with our constitution. and the growing power of the presidency. this is dangerous and it is demeaning to our democracy, and it simply must stop. i hope the president will remember his constitutionally mandated responsibility to enforce all laws, not just those laws that he chooses to enforce because he agrees with them. mr. rice, thank you, sir, for drawing attention to this very important issue. thank you for giving me a few moments to share with you here on the house -- on the floor of the congress and i yield back
now my time. mr. rice: thank you, mr. stewart. i yield so much time as he shall require to my friend from georgia, mr. woodall. mr. woodall: i thank my friend from south carolina. i appreciate him making this time available. and truth be told, you know, this is a leadership hour and so it tends to be republicans down on the floor when it's republican leadership hour, it tends to be democrats down on the floor as it's democrats hour. as my friend, mr. stewart, said so well, this is not a republican problem, this is not a president barack obama problem, this is a we the people problem. the concern is not that it's president base realignment and closure saying the affordable care act doesn't have -- president barack obama saying that the affordable care act doesn't have to be enforced. thomas jefferson said you're not likely to lose your freedoms through rebellion.
you're likely to lose them little by little by little by little, and that's why we all have to stand up together. i would ask my friend, mr. rice, because mr. rice is a freshman from south carolina. i've only been here two terms myself. i think about some of the giants of this institution, not just the house but the senate as well. i think one of my favorite democratic senators, robert byrd from west virginia, a champion of article 1 of the constitution. he was a democrat second. he was an american first. defending the constitution against presidents, republican and democrat, who would take the people's power from capitol hill and take it down to the executive branch. i want to ask you, it may sound frivolous, but if we had president mitt romney in the white house today and mitt romney was deciding the affordable care act, did not need to be enforced, would you
still be here on the floor asking that congress go to court to reclaim congressional powers? i ask my friend. mr. rice: as you said, representative woodall, an american first and republican second and any president who usurps the constitution, i would call them to task. mr. woodall: i confess to you, i went on the government oversight committee this cycle. the government oversight committee, as my colleague knows, does all the oversight stuff over the branch. i thought mitt romney would win. i said all too long, power has been leaving the people's hands, gravitating down pennsylvania avenue to the white house and we in a republican house will be able to do oversight over republican president and show the american people it is not about republicans and democrats, it's about article 1 and article 2. and following the process, following the law, following the constitution, it matters. it doesn't matter when times
are good. it matters when things get dicey. when you begin to lose those freedoms little by little. i want to ask my friend from south carolina, because we went through this with recess appointments whether or not there was the ability for the president to appoint folks of his choosing of various positions around the city. and what i read that d.c. court opinion to say is, what president obama's done is absolutely outrageous, it cannot possibly stand, but what congress allowed president bush to do and president clinton to do and president bush before him to do and president reagan efore him to do, that was also unconstitutional and congress has to stand up for the powers of the constitution entrusted in us, is that your understanding? mr. rice: representative woodall, that's exactly what this resolution is intended to do. .
representative, woodal, do you hear from your constituents that the president is breaking law, why don't you do something about that? i do that all the time and that's the result of erosion of congress' power, exactly what you are talking about. mr. woodall: we should have arguments on this floor about how many dollars should be spent on this program or that program. those are those things that divide us, but we should be united, republicans, democrats, house and senate over these constitutional issues of where does the people's power reside because if leaders like you in the absence of senator byrd from west virginia, in the absence of senator moynihan, in the absence of some of those greats who preserved the people's power, i don't know how it gets preserved. i'm certain you face arrows with
people saying you just don't like this president and have sour grapes. i have gotten to know you well over your short time in congress. it is so valuable that you put your responsibilities as an american first far above your responsibilities as a republican and despite those slings and arrows, the constitution comes first. it doesn't seem like we need the constitution, but when it's not there, it's going to be too late. i hope this spreads in a bipartisan way and bicameral way. we have preserved this republic, this greatest form of government the world has ever known only because folks have stood up when others did not see that necessity. we need this. there is the necessity today and i'm grateful to for your
leadership. mr. rice: thank you, my friend. i yield five minutes to my yoho. from florida, mr. mr. yoho: i thank my good friend from south carolina, mr. rice, for bringing this resolution forward and his leadership. this is an important issue not only today, but also for the future of our nation, a constitutional republic, as you so eloquently put out. in an article 2, section 3 of the constitution specifically requires and i want to read this, that the president take care that laws be faithfully executed, let me read that again. the president to take care that laws be faithfully executed. this does not allow the president to enforce the laws he likes and ignores the laws he
doesn't. this clause compels the president to ensure that all agencies within his executive branch are carrying out the laws created by congress, the people's arm of government. the current administration undermines this body on a near daily basis and if it is allowed to continue to do so, as you pointed out, the balance of power will no longer exist. in fact, it's rapidly slipping one side to the scales and it is our duty as representatives of the american people to speak out about this. and if not us, who? and if not now, when? the delay of the employer mandate, the extension of the substandard insurance policies and the grant of the deferred removal action of certain illegal immigrants are just but a few examples of the executive attempting to legislate without congress. luckily the framers instituted a
system of checks and balances. this congress has no choice but to turn to the courts and i offer my strong support for congressman rice's stop resolution, h.r. 442, which will enable the house to bring a civil action against the executive branch and allow future legislators to hold the executive branch accountable. this is the important part of this because it's for all future presidents. and again we have to stand up and start defending our constitution. this administration, like others before it, has no problem creating mandates for the american people, but cannot follow the most important mandate of our nation, the constitution. if you look at this, the simple little book, it's not an epic in volume. you can see, it's very thin, but yet it's an epic in ideology of what free men and free women can
do and held accountable by their government by this little red book. the importance of this issue cannot be overstated. we must address this now so all future presidents will know they must abide by the constitution. no president, past or present, democrat or republican, should ever be exempt from the duties laid out by our founding fathers. i support stop resolution h.r. 442 and i urge all my colleagues both democrats and republicans to support this resolution for america and our constitution. and i yield back. thank you. mr. rice: i yield so much time friendhall utilize to my rom florida. dedeep when we left to go back home to our districts, i
thought, the president is going to do something with obamacare as we get close to christmas. any time you come up on a holiday, some news gets put out, july 3, employer mandate delay. we had the grandfather stunt into thanksgiving and december 19, the obama administration grants a quote, hardship exemption from the individual mandate tax penalty to those who have seen their plans canceled due to obamacare. look, i don't think any of those plans should have been canceled. i offered a bill here and the house passed something to grandfather in those plans. and so certainly things needed to be due there. understand how unfair this is. if you had insurance and your policy is canceled, and then obamacare replacements are not affordable for you, they are
saying ok, fine, no penalty for you. if you couldn't afford insurance the prior year and you are forced to go into these obamacare exchanges, you have to pay the tax, even though you may have been worse off or if you had employer coverage and maybe you are going out on your own, if you end up in the exchanges and you don't find those affordable to you, you don't get the same relief. when you talk about arbitrary delays, it is inherently unfair. give the administration some credit. unlike some of the other delays, there is a provision in obamacare that says people can qualify for a hardship exemption from the individual mandate. the problem is that in this instance, it's obamacare itself that constitutes the hardship. so because obamacare is implemented, these people are suffering a hardship, so therefore they are exempt from
the statute. and to me, that's an abuse of what the statute is supposed to do. certainly, begs the question, could you simply delay or grant a suspension of these provisions of obamacare? and it's interesting because i was reading in "the weekly standard" publication, one of the reporters was asking what are the limits, what are the principal justifications for his conduct. how do you determine if the president couldn't do something if it does exceed his authority. is there any part of the law that the president doesn't have the authority to delay or suspend. a democratic senator responded, i don't know, i'm not a scholar. a reporter went to another senator, are there any delays -- could the president suspend the entire law if he wanted to? answer, i can't answer a
hypothetical. reporter asked again, you can't say if there are any parts of the law he could not delay unilaterally. the reporter says i can't answer a hypothetical. and another senator said he doesn't know of a legal impede meant of the executive delaying the individual or employer mandates. couldn't a president come in and suspend the entire law and the reporter said -- the senator said i don't want to speculate. when senators in the president's own party cannot offer any justification for the president's conduct that would exclude the potential of a president simply delaying all provisions of the law, you know that you are not in the realm of faithful execution of the law. and it's a challenge. we have talked about it in this chamber in hours like this. we have had hearings in the
judiciary committee with experts, even liberal constitutional law experts saying this conduct goes beyond would the founding fathers intended and what the constitution envisioned. i would like to see someone offer a justification the president picking and choosing which parts of the law should be enforced, should not be enforced, should be delayed, suspended or ignored. when you go back and look at the founding fathers when they created the constitution, when they created the congress and created the executive, at the convention, james wilson from pennsylvania moved to create a president consisting of a single person and that caused silence in the convention hall because they rebeled against britain. there were some who were taken aback that you would have a single president, even in the constitutional system. some of the people said you
can't have a strong president and have a republic. so this is a huge issue for the founding fathers. clearly, it would not have been acceptable to stand up at the constitutional convention and say the president is going to have, and if there are laws he doesn't like, he will be able to ignore provisions as he sees fit as long as it's consistent with its overall purpose or political agenda. that would not have been acceptable to anybody at the time. i mean, can you imagine if when john adams succeeded george washington that he started delaying provisions to, say, the bank of the united states or the jay treaty. imagine when jefferson came in, he ran against the alien and sedition acts. they repealed a core portion of
the act. they didn't ignore it. the provisions that expired, expired and then repealed the provisions that were still in effect. they would have never allowed john adams or jefferson to come in and just willie-nilly starting to enforce what they wanted to and part of the frustration of this is that congress is supposed to stand up for its authority. and i think the house people here realize that this is not proper constitutional government what the president's doing, but the u.s. senate, they are just totally out to lunch on this. they are not interested in safeguarding their institutional prerogatives, because they are putting their political interests ahead of the ledgetive body's authority and that runs contrary to our founding fathers and madison in federalist 51
said ambition must be made to counteract ambition. yeah, you have separate powers and have a executive, legislative and judicial power, but just because you separate them, doesn't mean that individual liberties can be secure. you have to give each branch the ability to check the other branches. and they were sure -- they knew people would have different partisan allegiances, but they were pretty sure that the branch would have the wherewithal and defend its own prerogative. in this instance is what you don't have is a senate willing to join the with the house, use the power of the purse and uzbekistan advise and consent, all the power that we have, use those until the president starts can conforming with the law. so this idea of trying to bring this in front of court, we
shouldn't have to do that. we should be able to defend our own turf. it's frustrating because we don't have a lot of options. so i think my colleague from south carolina, i give him credit of thinking of what can we actually do that can potentially be successful. i'm hoping this move will be successful. but i think going forward, and this has been a problem before for this president. not the only one who has pulled stunts like this, but he has gone beyond what other previous presidents have done. ultimately, the people in this chamber have to get serious about defending our constitutional responsibilities. holding presidents accountable. it also means not delegating authority to these bureaucracies when they legislate and those
rules are imposed on the public without congress saying anything about it. ultimately, the courts can't save us if we aren't willing to save ourselves and protect the authority that the constitution grants us and we are supposed to exercise on behalf of the people that we represent. especially in this house, we are the people's house. the president gets elected, too, but we are the closest to the people and we have to do a better job of this going forward. i would just tell my friend from south carolina, thank you for doing this. i know you've signed on. i have a resolution just to say that the house doesn't approve its conduct, if we don't do anything, we are basically setting a precedent and will be questioned going forward. as much as we can do, even if we aren't successful, we are showing people that we think this is a contested practice and not allowing this to become
accepted by future presidents, republican or democrat. with that, i yield back to the gentleman from south carolina. mr. rice: i thank my friend rom florida. separation of powers is fundamental to our form of government. the congress enacts laws. the president enforces the laws. one individual who can both make the law and enforce it is more a monarch than a president. without the separation of powers, our form of government crumbles. as earlier speaker said, the erosion of the separation of powers didn't start with
president obama, but it's certainly accelerated. at home i'm asked all the time, the president is breaking the law, why don't you do something about it? this resolution is an attempt to do exactly that. nobody would argue that the president has no discretion in enforcing the law. clearly he does. but in these four instances, he's clearly overstepped that discretion. say, what would we say if the president has the power to waive these things, the employer mandate, the penalty under the employer mandate, that's a waiver of a tax, what would we say if the next president waived the capital gains tax? or waive the maximum bracket under the income tax?
or waive the income tax for his friends? clearly that is beyond the discretion of the president. clearly president obama has gone beyond his discretion, and congress needs to enforce the constitution. we have 44 co-sponsors to our bill so far, but we need the help of the american people. we need you to talk to your representatives. if you need more information about our resolution or what you can do, please go to my www.rice.house.gov. thank you for your concern, thank you for viewing. let's protect our democracy. i yield back the balance of my ime.
the speaker pro tempore: remind members to address their remarks to the chair and not to the viewing audience. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. pocan, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. mr. pocan: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise to speak on behalf of the congressional progressive caucus during our special order hour, we want to talk specifically about the need for unemployment insurance but more broadly about what we need to do to make sure that everyone in this country has access to opportunity. just yesterday we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the war on poverty. president johnson said during is state of the union in 1964, "unfortunately, many americans live on the outskirts of hope. some because of their poverty and some because of their color and all too many because of
both. our task is to help replace their despair with opportunity. this administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in america. it will not be a short or easy struggle. no single weapon or strategy shall you is fice but we shall not rest until -- suffice but we shall not rest until that war is won. we cannot afford to lose it." those are the words of president johnson 50 years ago when we started the war on poverty in this country. we created medicare and medicaid, the food stamp program and programs like head start, and we have great results from those programs. in fact, according to a new study, these initial programs, coupled with expansion of pro-work and pro-family programs like the earned income tax credit have helped reduce poverty by nearly 40% since the 1960's.
the poverty line fell from 26% n 1967 to 16% in 2012 when the safety net is taken into account. now, while there was a lot of progress, we still have far too many people in this country who are living in poverty or on the brink of living in poverty. 15% of americans today are living below the poverty line, and that's just 11,490 dollars for an individual. 46.5 million people in our country are living in poverty, and one in three americans teeters on the brink of living in poverty. that includes 16 million children in this country. that's more than 700,000 people in my home state of wisconsin. and according to the institute for research on poverty from the university of wisconsin-madison, in rock county in my district, a county i share with congressman paul ryan, 22% of the children in
that county are living in poverty. we still have vast inequality, income inequality, we have unlivable wages and we still have members of this body, mr. speaker, who want to chip away at that very economic security. it almost seems like today it's not a war on poverty but sometimes it seems like there's a war on the war on poverty, that we're actually stepping backwards from the very improvements we made over the years from 1960. in fact, what we noticed that just happened was not extending of the benefits, unemployment emergency benefits back in december, on december 28. it's affected 1.3 million americans. not only do we have issues like that, but we also have an attack on food stamps where this very body has voted to cut $39 billion from the snap program, the supplemental nutrition assistance program.
$39 billion affecting millions and millions of americans. now, we've seen attempts to not allow us to raise the minimum wage, a minimum wage that's entirely behind where it should be. if you took into consideration where it should be just for inflation from 1968, that minimum wage in 2013 dollars would be at $10.60, not $7.25. $10.60. we're way behind keeping up with inflation. and income inequality is at an all-time high. we are finding that income for the top 1% have grown more than 31% since 2009, and the bottom 99% of people, their income has moved less than 1%. so we're at a challenging time. we know that there was an economic downfall across the globe, especially hard hit, we feel it in this country.
while we're having dual things happening, jobs are creeping up, we're having progress, but still 7% of people are unemployed. while we have those jobs creeping up, we still also notice that people are being left behind with this economy and that's exactly why we have tried to do things like extending the unemployment insurance benefits for people. but unfortunately in this body, in this very body, mr. speaker, austerity has ruled the day. austerity has taken place instead of prosperity. instead of doing measures that would lift people out of poverty and help people get a job and help people be able to support their families, we're trying to take government down and down and down like they did in europe, and they had disastrous results from doing that. that's not a path out of our current economic condition. we need to be investing in our people so they have those opportunities. they can grab a ring at that
ladder and get a job and be able to get by. so there are so many things we need to do, and unfortunately these attacks aren't just in this body, in the congress. mr. speaker, unfortunately these attacks are even happening in the states. in my home state of wisconsin, our governor, scott walker, was recently on a cnn program and when he was asked about extending unemployment benefits, his response was, the reason why the white house is so actively pursuing this, unemployment insurance, is they want to desperately talk about anything about obamacare. can you believe the governor of the state who's 37th in job creation, who promised when he was elected to create 250,000 jobs, and he's done a portion of that, is somehow trying to say that helping people to get out of poverty, helping people to be able to support their family with groceries and to be able to pay their rent or
mortgage at a time of still having record people who are out of work while we're trying to start getting jobs coming back at 7%, at that time, mr. speaker, that governor can still only talk about obamacare as all too often this body has done. we need to act now. the time to act on this for this body is now. people are -- 1.3 million people are currently out of work and trying to get those benefits they need so desperately during that period have been cut off. and every week across the country, 72,000 new americans will lose their benefits if we don't do something. 72,000 people across the country. mr. speaker, in our speaker of the house's district alone, you look at the largest cities in that district in ohio, springfield, ohio, 60,000 people. that would be like having your entire city of springfield go
unemployed in a single week. in a city of hamilton, 62,000 people. one week all out of work. middleton, 48,000 people. you can take that and the surrounding communities, all in one week out of work if we don't do something. that's why, mr. speaker, it's imperative that this body do something. 1.3 million americans have lost these benefits at the end of december, including 20,000 military veterans who aren't getting the benefits they need. these are hardworking people who are still trying to find jobs in this comm he, but there's just not -- economy, but there's just not enough jobs. in many fields it's tougher. right now 24,000 wisconsinites have lost these important vital lifelines, and the number can going up every single week by 72,000 people. and yet, mr. speaker, the house republicans adjourned congress on december 12, more than two
weeks before these benefits were set to expire. we could have done something. we could have stayed and worked and instead we didn't and now because of that, we have 1.3 million and counting people who don't have access to these vital benefits. now, let's just think about this. under president bush, five times we extended these benefits without any strings attached, like this congress is trying to do to this president, five times and the unemployment was less than the 7% we're at right now. it is hypocritical for us not to do what we all did together five times under president bush while people are still looking for work. the bottom line is, you still need this funding, not just to pay for groceries and to pay for rent or yurt mortgage, but -- your mortgage, but you need things to get a job. if you don't have the money to put gas in your car, how are you going to find a job? you need the gas in your car to
find a job. you need to be able to pay for your phone so you can get a phone call for these jobs. these are all things that we need to make sure those benefits are available for all too many people in this country. what happens to the economy when you don't have these benefits in place? nce congress has cut off benefits, we lost $400 million in economic activity and that is going to grow every single week. not only people looking for work, trying to find that job, not able to find that job, but we are going to have more people be unemployed because of the overall impact that has on the economy. 200,000 jobs will be lost in 2014 and decrease the gross domestic product simply by not doing these benefits.
the bottom line, there are so many reasons why we need to do this and i'm going to talk about my state of wisconsin and why it's important. i'm joined by one of my colleagues who is actually the o-chair of the congressional progressive caucus. representative grijalva serves on the committee on natural resources where he is the ranking member on the national parks, forest and public lands subcommittee. he is a tremendous member of congress and metropolitanor to many of us and strong people of our progressive caucus speaking on behalf of each and every american. pleesh to yield to him. -- pleasure to yield to him. gridgegridge thank you for these -- >> thank you for the discussion
and lack of debate many times in this house about what is important for the american people. that clarity is important to this whole congress and to our democrats and in particular to the progressive caucus of which you are a member. and we want to thank you for the nd tore the effort unemployment compensation program lapsed because of the majority cutting off an average .eekly benefit of $3300,000 without that extension, another 72,000 americans on the average are estimated to lose their unemployment insurance every week during the first half of this new year. all economists agree that providing extended unemployment
benefits is one of the most this ve job creation in period of economic uncertainty. every dollar of unemployment compensation creates 52 cents in additional economic activity beyond that dollar. the nonpart son congressional budget office says extending benefits for another year will save 200,000 jobs. the failure by the republicans to extend federal unemployment insurance to the end of last week is taking more than $400 million out of the pockets of americans. unemployment insurance is viewed as an effective stimulus because americans without jobs spend it on basic needs. democrats have called on congress to extend federal emergency unemployment insurance programs through 2014.
congress must act soon to restore those necessary benefits to the unemployed workers and their families. this economy still has one million fewer jobs than before the great recession began. 37% of the unemployed have been out of work for more than six months. 1.9 million more would lose their unemployment benefits in the first half of 2014 as state benefits run out. in my state of arizona, the failure by the g.o.p., the republicans, to reinstate and stepped the unemployment compensation benefits affected unemployed 00 workers in arizona and additional 22,000 500 workers will lose their benefits in the first six months of 2014 if this congress does not act. rizona has an average 8.3%
unemployment rate throughout the state. nd with that, -- and less than 20% less in employment benefits to these workers as we speak. so we stand a chance in arizona to save up to 2,000 jobs, reinstate for 17,000 people, their employment benefits if this congress were to act now. we are here today and mr. pocan, in managing this hour to talk about the necessity and urgency of the extension of unemployment benefits that has to be a priority for this congress. for those willing workers and their families, it is an essential act by this congress. these families and these workers should not be political pawns in mapship to ames
embarrass the president. that does not have to be part of this equation. this has been dealt in a bipartisan way. regardless of who has been in the white house has been a response to the needs of the american people and their workers. i also believe -- nor should they be subjected to this. we need action, not posturing or empty preaching by the majority. it needs to be done and done immediately. as we talk unemployment benefits and their extension, i also want to mens that we have to realize that there is not a subtle or overly quo verted agenda at work here. we see the nonaction on unemployment a vital and necessary response in the past
has met with bipartisan support. we now see cuts amounting to $20 billion in nutrition and basic support for people in need. the snap program in the farm bill. that effect of $20 billion will affect, children and adults throughout this country. there is a growing wage and income inequality and disparity in this country. that has been as a consequence of policies that we reward who are doing well and god bless them, we should be proud of them, we reward them with tax breaks, loopholes and with the ability to increase their income and their purchasing power while at the same time shifting the things to asic hard-working middle-class
families. that is one of the most dangerous economic realities that is happening to this nation. and that, too, is an agenda that is going on and continues to go on in the policies and initiatives that are being promoted by the majority party in this house. there is a huge need for a liveable minimum wage that pays people for the actual work that they do. and we can't ignore the sequester cut and how they have directly affected child care and the ability for parents and particularly women, to be able to work and have some security that their children are being taken care of. the cuts in that area, head start in particular, are going to be devastating. early childhood education, the cuts in that area and the freedom it would provide parents to feel secure while being at work while their children are learning. the cuts in job training and the
ability for children to seek new careers and change the orientation of where they are working, that has been cut. public education, that has been critical to our country, has been cut. access and affordability to higher education, again being cut. and there has been no jobs bill. interesting to hear the speaker of the house say the other day that it is the democrats' fault that there is no job agenda that has been presented. there has been a jobs agenda presented over and over again by a variety of colleagues in this house, by the senate and the administration. the inaction and the turning your face to that reality has been the consequence of the leadership in this house that has refused to deal with that. and unemployment benefits are part of a greater crisis, of economic fairness, a crisis that demands that this congress look
beyond its own rhetoric and look at the reality. in my district, every time in our office people come in seeking help from us and invarybly, the biggest request is how can i find a job and how can i find a new career and get myself in a situation where i can go back to work and feel secure and support my family. and single-head of households, the same issue. if we want to deal with the issues and not provide rhetoric about jobs, that we look at the first necessary step, extend these unemployment benefits, provide some security and some sustainability to millions of workers in this country and move onto the real agenda which is to
provide opportunity to these workers. congressman pocan, thank you and yield back. mr. pocan: thank you for outlining the austerity agenda and their lack to get anything done to help the 1.3 million out of work and the americans each and every week who are going to lose these benefits if this house doesn't act. it's my pleasure to introduce a stalwart progressive, the ranking member on the house financial services. she is a member of our congressional progressive caucus nd past chair of the congressional black caucus. ms. waters: i thank you, represent tive. and i congratulate you for
organizing this special order on unemployment insurance. 50 years ago this weekend, the state of the union address, president lyndon johnson declared a war on poverty. he introduced federal legislation, even proposed state initiatives that would over the time, improve health, education, nutrition and access to housing, employment and economic opportunities. although america has changed a great deal since that day, poverty and economic inaqult are at the forefront of our nation's problems and only exacerbated by the great recession. the gap between the rich and poor in america has become a chasm. 20% of the income in our country goes to the top 1% and the top 1% holds 40% of the country's wealth. this inaqult is mirrored in our community, housing and
represental markets and our financial system where a lack of access to banking services causes families to have debts that spiral out of control. inequality has reached a point that for many the dream for upward mobility and economic opportunity has been greatly diminished. the 2008 financial crisis cost our economy $12 trillion as millions lost their homes and jobs. this destruction of wealth disproportionately hurt our nation's most vulnerable and only wideend the gap between the rich and the poor. even gains from growth in the recent recovery has been overwhelmingly benefited the wealthiest people in society. almost 95% of the income gained since the recovery began have been captured by the top 1%. meanwhile, the minimum wage has not been increased since 2009.
mr. speaker, this is totally unacceptable. chronic unemployment and poverty still plague many of our communities. american families are still struggling to make ends meet. four million americans who have been out of work for 27 weeks or more and the economy still has one million fewer jobs than before the great recession began. though there are other factors at play, much of this inquality is part of the government policy and government policies can reverse these alarming trends. instead, our friends on the opposite side of the aisle are digger us deeper and deeper into this crisis. they passed a farm bill that cut snap nutrition programs by $40 billion and the republicans let unemployment insurance for the long-term unemployment expire three days after christmas. already, 1.3 million unemployed
americans have lost their federal unemployment insurance, that includes 20,000 military veterans. and each day, this program sits expired, thousands of additional struggling americans are dversely affected. as state benefits are exhausted in the first months of 2014, an adecisional nine million americans will lose unemployment insurance. in fact, another 72,000 job seekers will lose their benefits every week in the first half of this year. unemployment insurance is critical for struggling families. unemployment insurance kept 2.5 million people above the poverty line in 2012, including 600,000 children. unemployment insurance is good for the economy. according to moody's analytics, every dollar of unemployment
insurance generates $1.55 in new economic activity in the first year. the bipartisan congressional budget office estimates that 200,000 jobs could be lost in our economy if unemployment insurance is not extended. we must act and act immediately to extend unpliment insurance. so i call on my republican colleagues to bring the emergency unemployment compensation extension act that is h.r. 3824 to the house floor an pass it now. with one in five american children living in poverty, it is clear that the war on poverty has gone on for far too long. let's take action now to help all americans share in our nation's growth and prosperity. let's bring an unemployment insurance bill to the floor and let's bring it now. let's bring a substantive jobs bill to the floor now and let's bring a minimum wage increase to the floor now. american families have suffered enough.
it's time to restore the american dream. as i wrap up, let me just say this on behalf of the american people. i hear these arguments every day from the opposite side of the aisle, saying if you continue to extend these unemployment benefits, you're simply going to undermine the will for people to go to work. what you're going to do is make them comfortable on these unemployment benefits and they won't go look for a job. well, i want to tell you, i have not talked to every one who is un-- who needs extended benefits but i can tell you this. american folks want jobs. they want to work. they want to earn a decent living. they want to earn wages to take care of their families and their children. their aspirations and goals are the same as yours and mine. they want what america has promised, and i would say to those who would continue this argument, don't disrespect the
american people that way. don't undermine the american people that way. do what you know is right, what makes good sense and let us help out those who are the most vulnerable who need us now at this time so they can continue to look for jobs, so that they continue to aspire to have the american dream and i yield back the balance of my time. thank you very much. >> thank you so much, representative waters. your efforts over the years have been so appreciated by so many. i hope the house republican leadership will listen to your pleas and bring this to a vote. it is now my honor to introduce one of my fellow freshmen who has rapidly being recognized not only for his hard work and effort but for his skill and work on behalf of so many across this country, i would like to yield some time to my colleague, representative jeffries.
mr. jeffries: i thank the gentleman from wisconsin, the badger state, for his continued leadership and each and every week when we're in session, coming to the floor, the house of representatives articulating the progressive message for all to hear and for the good of the country and i appreciate you yielding some time during this congressional progressive caucus special order. this month, we mark the 50th anniversary of the deck la reags of the war on poverty. we know that on january 8, 1964, president lyndon baines johnson came to this very chamber, spoke to a joint session of congress and laid out a series of niche ties designed to combat chronic porpo -- chronic poverty in this country. as a result of this effort, there were many legislative battles that were won. in the march toward the creation
of a great society. medicare, medicaid, head start. school breakfasts, the food stamp act. minimum wage enhancement, job corps. college work study. these were programs all part of that great society rear enacted between 1964 and 1966. taken together with other war on poverty initiatives, they managed to rescue millions and millions of americans from their impoverished condition and set them on a pathway toward the middle class. over the years, we have attempted to continue that war on poverty with great success, such that the situation in america now is better than it was in 1964, yet we know that
the war continues. but instead, it seems leek as opposed to waging a war on poverty here in this chamber, many of our colleagues on the other side of the aisle have decided to embark on a war against the poor. a war against middle class families and senior citizens. those who are striving to realize the full potential of the american dream. and that's why we're all so troubled by the failure to extend long-term unemployment benefits. i rise -- i arrived in this chamber feeling as if i was prepared for the experience given the professional and educational legislative experiences that i had had in advance of january 3 of 2013, and it's been my honor and privilege to work with such a
tremendous class of freshmen but aye been troubled over the last year because back then i appear deficient in one area, that's in my fail wrur to have any meaningful experience in the hart of hostage negotiations. but from the very beginning that i set forth in this chamber, it seemed as if those skills were necessary in this climate. in january of 2013, we had to wait more than 75 days before this house would pass a superstorm sandy relief package, unprecedented in the history of this congress' response to a natural disaster because there were some who put forth a ransom note demanding offsets even though never had that happened -- he history of the public
of the republic. then you had an affordable care act passed by this congress in 2010, signed by the president, declared constitutional by the supreme court in an opinion, parenthetically wren by chief justice john roberts and reaffirmed with the overwhelming eelect tofrl college election of the president in 2012. but notwithstanding any of that you had folks demanding, in exchange for keeping the overnment open, that we delay, destroy, or defund the affordable care act. again, a ransom note exercise. but here we are, one year removed from my inaugural experience around the superstorm sandy debacle, back again, facing an almost unprecedented
situation where the majority has said in exchange for us renewing long-term unemployment benefits for americans that reasonable people should conclude are in need, not only do we want a pay-for, almost unprecedented, the last 17 times that this has been extended, but we've got a whole list of ransom demands that we want enacted in order for us to rescue these americans who are in distress. i'm just hopeful, mr. speaker, that we can get together subsequent to the united states senate which has signaled and indicated its willingness to move forward, see to it that it shouldn't be the case that in exchange for taking a positive
step forward in this institution, we always have to take two steps backwards. the positive step would simply be to renew the provision of unemployment benefits for the long-term, individuals who have been working hard to find a job, and then coming together to figure out collectively how we can all move forward in the best interests of this country and our economy, i'm hopeful that that will take place in the next day or week, certainly within the month, and we'll continue to press forward in that regard, and with that, i thank the gentleman from wisconsin for his continued leadership and i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you, mr. jeffries, and thank you for articulating what i've been feeling for the last year, my lack of hostage taking skills.
it's now my pleasure to yield time to my colleague from kale, the first mexican american woman to be elected to congress she co-founded the bipartisan congressional study committee on health. mr. pocan: she became the first woman to chair the congressional hispanic caucus. it's an honor to yield time to lucille roybal-allard. ms. roybal-allard: i thank the gentleman for yielding and i want to commend conditioningman pocan for his hard work on this issue. i rise in support of the 1.4 million americans who lost their emergency unemployment insurance during the holiday season. and the millions of americans who stand to lose their benefits in 2014 if congress fails to extend unemployment insurance. it is an insult to the american worker to oppose the extension of these benefits on the premise that emergency unemployment
insurance provides a disincentive to work and that it makes unemployed americans content to live off of the taxpayer-supported benefits. the reality is, mr. speaker, that americans have a strong work ethic and are the best and most productive in the world. and the reality is that in spite of their efforts to find employment, there are still 1.3 million fewer jobs today than there were when many of these americans lost their jobs due to our country's economic downturn. it is unconscionable to punish those who lost their job through no fault of their own and continue to actively seek work. with nearly three job seekers for every available position, american workers are unemployed not because they are not motivated to work, but because there are simply not enough jobs for everyone who needs one.
this problem is magny fied in my home state of california where there are 400,000 fewer jobs available today than there were six years ago. unemployment benefits average $300 per week and replace less than 50% of prior earnings. yet these benefits can make the difference between homelessness and hunger. they are often the only means of keeping a roof over one's head and putting food on the family table. for example, in 2012, unemployment benefits kept an estimated 2.5 million americans, including 600,000 children, out of poverty. it is also worth noting that unemployment benefits do more than provide a critical lifeline for out of work americans. it is estimated that each dollar
of unemployment insurance generates $1.50 in new economic activity. this means our economy is losing $400 million every week congress refuses to extend these benefits. the nonpartisan congressional budget office also estimates that the economy will lose $200 -- will lose 200,000 jobs if emergency unemployment insurance is not extended. unemployment insurance is a moral imperative that will also keep our economic recovery moving in the right direction. mr. speaker, we are a country of hardworking americans. we must not turn our backs on those who need this critical federal assistance as they struggle to find work. i strongly urge speaker boehner and leader cantor to schedule
floor action on extending emergency unemployment insurance benefits without delay. i yield back the balance of my time. mr. pocan: thank you so much. it's so important to note that about 37% of the people who receive these benefits have been searching for a job over six months, the very people who are going to be affected, 72,000 a week, if this house doesn't act. i'd now like to yield time to another colleague of mine, someone who has been a stalwart member of the progressive caucus, he senior whip for the democratic caucus, currently a member of the judiciary committee and homeland security committee and a strong advocate for people who are trying to lift themselves out of poverty and find opportunity in america, it's my pleasure to yield time o to representative jackson lee. ms. jackson lee: i'm privileged to be very proudly a member of
the progressive caucus, serving as the vice chair on behalf of the congressional black caucus to the progressive caucus and the executive committee and watched this caucus take on hard issues, first, of course, issues that dealt with the idea of minimum wage and the underpayment, if you will, of federal contractors paying federal employees who are contracted to them. we have understood the distinction of the 99ers versus the 1% and waged a strong battle to make sure that the 99% were heard. today, i want to join the gentleman and say that time is running out. just this week, as i indicated earlier today and the day before
, those whose benefits were cut off on the 28th are receiving those notice or receiving empty mailboxes just in time for the end of the month and beginning of the month bills, whether it is one's mortgage or rent, whether it is the utilities that one has to pay, whether it is in care of one's elderly parent or children, i can assure the 1.3 million, 12,000 in harris county, 66,000 in the state of texas, is -- are now confronting some very difficult times. when we say the term progressive, it is also a term that celebrates the greatness of america. its diversity, its opportunity and prosperity. i have not heard one of our members of the caucus in any way challenge prosperity, victory,
success. i'm going to share with my colleagues that "the houston chronicle" put on the front page, sales of million dollar homes snowballed here. congratulate those citizens and citizens who are able to because of the greatness of the nation and hard work of themselves and those who contribute to the economy, to those who are unemployed who contributed to society and want to contribute to society, they are able to be prosperous. good news for the real estate industry and good news for those in that industry and good news for small businesses. that clouds the issue and allows people to represent that all is well. the unemployed is higher than it
has ever been, 2.6%. it various across america. i want to join the gentleman with a loud voice. hopefully a voice of clarity that you can have prosperity. we are a capital is particular society. there is good news in houston. at the same time, when i held an outreach press conference on december 31, fearing the worse that there was a full house of people looking for work, people telling their stories of how long they looked for work, the sadness of not being able to find work and the faith community joining in and the social network community saying they don't know how long they are going to last, food banks, emergency food stamps and others, they didn't know how long they are going to last, it is imperative that we have
within these hours, movement by the other body, which we congratulate for making the first step. but this should be an emergency, an emergency vote for a three-month extension and then the opportunity to go forward on a more deliberative analysis of how we can fund the rest of the time. so i would hope -- we voted today, democrats voted to extend the unemployment. i hope the progressive voice will be heard. i thank the gentleman, i want the 1.3 million to be able to have the same dignity of those who can celebrate the purchase of a million dollar home, which we don't challenge, but there are people who simply want to be able to make that represental payment or mortgage payment, they can do it, though they are making ends meet, they can do it if we recognize the importance
of giving them that transitional bridge. pass the unemployment benefits package now. nd i yield back. mr. pocan: this president has brought us from a 9.8% unemployment rate that he inherited down to 7% and jobs are being created, there are people being left behind. and we have to recognize that as well. and i believe the secretary wrote a piece that showed today that explained that well that do to income inaqult, people who are poor and not earning enough. thank you so much for that. i would like to yield time to another one of my colleagues. this is another one of my freshman colleagues who was elected by our democratic class as the freshman class president.
e serves on the government and jore sight reform committee. great honor to yield time to cartwright. mr. cartwright: i rise as a congressman from pennsylvania. in fact, a congressman from scranton, pennsylvania, the birth place of the secretary, i might add. someone that we are very proud and i'm proud to be a member of the congressional progressive caucus and i rise here, mr. speaker, to speak in support of a reasonable extension for u.i. benefits with no strings fatched -- attached.
and i say no strings attached, because every time we have extended long time u.i. benefits, we have done so with no strings attached, nor arm wrestling, no strings attached means no conditions whatsoever. it's the right thing to do because you have to do it in a situation like this. in fact, five times during the george w. bush administration, this nation extended u.i. benefits on an emergency basis and i see no reason why we have to depart from this today. i understand mr. speaker, the importance of fiscal responsibility. not like there is only one party that understands fiscal responsibility. we get that on this side of the aisle and we get that in the congressional progressive caucus
as well. but the question is of timing. we want to balance the budget. we want to pay down the national debt. we get why those things are important. and we know that u.i. benefits can't last forever. but the fact of the matter is it's an emergency now, as our dear friend -- as the gentlelady from texas just tiled it, it is an emergency now. and the reason it's an emergency is the vast number of american citizens who are long-term unemployed. 1.3 million on december 28 got cut off. in my own district, in northeast pennsylvania, over 6,000 families got cut off on december 28 three days after christmas. and the fact of the matter is, this is not american tradition. since 1959, we have never ended long-term u.i. benefits at a
time when so many americans are long-term unemployed. the gentlelady from houston just ntioned, 2.6%, long-term unemployed in this country. every other time we have cut off long-term u.i. benefits. it's been when the people who are long-term unemployed are way less of a percentage. the previous high percentage was 1.3%. half of the percentage we have now. now is not the right time to cut off people from long-term u.i. benefits. and mr. speaker, these are real people we are talking about. before my voice entirely gives out, i want to read to you a letter i got from a lady named blankenhorn.
carol rights this, i'm writing because i'm a single unemployed mother and does not get child support and supporting myself and my son up until my job at territory has been dissolved. i have been dill gept in my job search but to no avail. i believed i had 26 weeks of unemployed benefits. because of the poor economy and lack of jobs, i have received a notice of exhaust of benefits in three weeks, she wrot in december and i'm devastated. i am not one of those people sitting back collecting. i couldn't live with myself. as i sit and look at my son one eek before christmas, i am besides myself. imasking you to renew and extend
unemployment benefits. please respond to me of your views and intentions on this very important issue. enhorn was carol blank from pennsylvania. these are real people we are talking about. leaving aside the damage to the economy, stopping u.i. benefits and leaving aside all of the economic realities that favor extending u.i. benefits. remple above all. we are talking about real people and real families and that alone in the dead of winter is a great argument not to cut off benefits when it's next to impossible to find another job. mr. pocan: thank you for your long time advocacy on behalf of so many people but sharing the personal stories, because i think that is what matters the
most. mr. speaker, how much time is remaining? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has seven minutes remaining. mr. pocan: i have all sorts of stories i would read but i don't have have, construction workers that are out of work, machinists that are out of work, a surgical nurse, there are so many people who need these benefits and very stories, i just have pages of these stories of people across the country who need these benefits. they are not lazy or sitting back, they want to work and in this economy they are doing everything they can to try to, but the economy isn't ready for these people. i do want to read one story. i had a chance this afternoon to meet with a quint from reeds
berg, wisconsin. name is amy and here with her daughter and i want to read part of her story. she has benefited from programs we have put together for people who are lower income and what she says -- i'll read her words. >> my story is the story of millions which there aren't enough jobs or training. the basic needs for more good jobs and training programs seems to be overlooked in today's conversation about poverty. i'm a veteran and divorced mother with two children. i went to school to be a school teacher but wasn't able to find full-time employment, i enrolled in a skills program in wisconsin. he program assists long-income adults in order to be able to
have a job that pays a living wage. i was working as a contractor making $15,000 which is far below the poverty line of a i certified as a reading special litigation. it helped me with tuition. i was living in section 8 housing and received counseling as well as participating in the agency's self-sufficiency program. i'm now a full-time employee th benefits as a reading instructor and i now own my own home and she goes on. . by providing these safety nets, the safety nets we started in the war on poverty, we helped people like amy out of poverty.
we need to continue to help others. i would like to yield to my colleague from illinois, someone who's been a mentor to me in my career in the legislature, so glad to serve with her now in congress, representative jan schakowsky from the state of illinois. ms. schakowsky texas i want to thank you -- the speaker pro tempore: members are reminded not to traffic the well will another -- the well while another member is under recognition. ms. schakowsky: if that referred to me, i apologize. again, thank you very much for organizing this hour for the progressive caucus. you know, we are talking about human issues that really dent lend themselves to any kind of political label. we're talking about people, and i think, this is what has hurt me so much, is the meanness, the
meanness. you know, i just celebrated my 15th year here in the house of representatives and i have to tell you that we've disagreed across the aisle on a lot of different things but the demonization of people who are struggling just to live a decent life, you know, we're talking about people who aren't -- when we talk about the unemployed, aren't looking for the huge fancy jobs, they want to make enough to be able to raise their children comfortably, to be able to eat, put a roof over their head, just modest things that add up to a decent life. aside from all the arguments on why it's really dumb, economically, to not extend
those unemployment benefits, that it will actually cost us jobs, 250,000, i don't know what the estimate is, if we don't put money in people's pockets that they can go out and spend, why would things that used to have a bipartisan consensus not prevail today? u know, in 1959, 1962, 1973, 77, 1985, 1994, and 2003, we extended unemployment insurance benefits until the level of long-term unemployment, people unemployed over six months, fell below 1.5%. today that's .6% of americans. over a million american -- --
that's 2.6% of americans, other a million americans. what are we doing? who are we? that's what i asked myself around the holidays, we had a lot of cold weather, people are celebrating, still going out and shopping, and i was picturing, i know, some of those families, for whom this is just so bleak and so unnecessary. that we could have in five inutes before we -- just extended those unemployment benefits. you've got that sign that says that each week we fail to act, 72,000 more people, that's, you know, a pretty hefty small town of people. will lose their benefits. people who only are qualified for those benefits if they are seeking work. three people searching for every
job that's available in this country. we heard from -- you talked to people who have experienced this ultimate sense of insecurity. what's going to happen to me and my family? what i hear at the end of that sentence, when we talk to people, at the end of the story is, i don't know what i'm going to do. i don't know what i'm going to do. for many people, the fear of homelessness is just right outside their door right now. and so i don't get it. these are, you know, we celebrated the the 50th anniversary of the announcement of the war on poverty and all the things that we did and that were supported for many years. are we out of time? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired.
ms. schakowsky: i apologize. thank you for enabling me to use up your time. mr. pocan: thank you, mr. speaker. i appreciate the time. the speaker pro tempore: under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from missouri, ms. wagner, for 30 minutes. ms. wagner: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on the subject of my special order. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. wagner: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of the health exchange security and transparency act, a bill that forces the federal government to notify individuals if their personal information has been stolen or unlawfully accessed through an obo -- obamacare exchange. since the disastrous rollout of obamacare on october 1, we have heard story after story, mr. speaker, of security threats and privacy concerns with the trouble odd ba ma cair insurance
exchanges. from the chief information officer at c.m.s. claiming that, and i quote, there is also no confidence that personal, identifiable information will be protected to an administrator saying that the obamacare website, again, i quote, exposed a level of uncertainty that can be deemed as high risk, to another analyst calling the website a hacker's dream. it is clear that the obamacare exchanges were never ready to be launched and it's unconscionable that that administration would expose millions of americans' information to cyberthreats and identity theft. to make matters worse, there are laws already implemented that require private companies to notify innocent victims of these security breaches. but president obama didn't think it was necessary to live by the same rules as the private
sector. and decided to push his failed agenda despite senior government officials warning him that his website was not safe for the american people. every day, mr. speaker, i hear from far too many hardworking families in missouri's second district who have seen their premiums skyrocket, wages decrease, insurance coverage cancel, and hours cut back at work. these families are already suffering from the harsh realities of obamacare and to make matters worse, they have no idea whether their personal informing has been stolen or not. just recently, mary ann schafer wrote to me from kirkwood, missouri, about how worried she is that her most intimate information could be stolen from the obamacare exchanges, and i quote, from mary ann schafer of kirkwood, missouri, i am concerned about the security of my sensitive medical records in a big government database.
mary ann is just one of the many people i hear from in the st. louis region that are worried about the devastating consequences of obamacare. while the only way to truly protect the american people from obamacare is by replacing it with free market based solutions that expand access without destroying our economy, putting the federal government between you and your doctor and lowering the quality of our care, the federal government, mr. speaker, should at the very least be required to report any security breaches on the obamacare websites to those innocent victims who through no fault of their own trusted a government that deceived them. since president obama decided to delay the implementation of obamacare for unions and businesses for an entire year, done you think the least he could do is tell hardworking americans if their personal information has been stolen or
breached. mr. speaker, the simple truth is, obamacare is wrong for the american people. it is wrong for hardworking missourians. and it is wrong for the people of missouri's second congressional district. and it needs to be replaced immediately before any more of its harmful provisions are implemented. i urge my colleagues to vote yes , a resounding yes, on this commonsense measure. i would now, mr. speaker, like to yield to my good friend, representative diane black, who is not only -- who has not only spent countless hours championing the health exchange security and transparency act but who has tirelessly worked to improve our nation's health care as a small businesswoman and a nurse in tennessee and now as a member of congress. i yield the gentlelady from tennessee, mrs. diane black for as much time as she may consume. mrs. black: i thank the gentlelady from missouri, my friend, my colleague, mr.
speaker, i rise today in support of the health exchange security and transparency act which would provide basic protection on the health care goif -- healthcare.gov website to help americans protect themselves from fraud and abuse. unfortunately we live in a time where cyberthreats are rampant and we must do what we can to make sure the americans are protected from these threats. john fun of "national review" recently wrote this, and i quote, christmas shoppers were stunned to learn that computer hackers had made off with the names around personal information of some 40 million target customers but at least target informed its customers of the security breach, as it is required by law. healthcare.gov faces no such requirement. it need never notify customers
that their personal information has been hacked or possibly compromised, he wrote. and what makes this even worse is that the department of health and human services was asked to include notification provisions in the final rules for obamacare and they declined. because of this decision, on the part of h.h.s., millions of americans' namesering addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, their email addresses, and even social security numbers are at risk. if they are breach bd i this egovernment they would never have to tell them. consider that as americans who seek health care insurance, sign on to the federal exchange, they are inserting their personal information into a website that has never had a full end-to-end security test. in fact, c.m.s. chief information officer theresa pryor stated in a draft memo
that the federal exchange, and i quote, does not reasonably meet security requirements and that there are -- there is no confidence that personally identifiable information will be protected, close quote. even worse, experts at the credit agency experian recently warned that the health care industry by far will be the most susceptible to policy or -- to publicly disclosed and widely scrutinized data breaches in 2014. so experian says that it is the health care that stands the greatest risk. this prediction was based in part on reports of security risks posed by healthcare.gov website since the health care law's infrastructure was put together too quickly and haphazardly. mr. speaker, this website was never ready to go on october 1.
the very least we can do is to require that the federal government notify someone if their person information has been hacked. that way, the very least, they have a chance to fend off identity theft and cyberattacks and hopefully avoid another nightmare scenario like the one we saw that happened to target shoppers. i urge my colleagues in the house to support this bill an for our colleagues in the senate to swiftly send it to the president's desk. thank you and i yield back the emainder of my time. ms. wagner: i thank the gentlelady, mrs. black, for her leadership, this is her bill, her piece of legislation, something she's worked on tirelessly for years, has seen its exposure in the private sector and now at the federal government level. i thank her for her leadership. i would now like to yield to my
good friend representative richard hudson, i thank him very much, the freshman member and dear friend and colleague, a leader in our freshman class, i thank him not only for his work on homeland security and the agriculture committee but also the work he has done dealing with health care on the education and work force committee, so it is now my pleasure to yield time to the gentleman from north carolina, mr. richard hudson for such time as he may consume. mr. hudson: my colleague has been a true leader in congress and it has been a true honor and serve with you on this particular issue. obamacare is an absolute disaster. we have seen the impacts back home in north carolina by the loss of jobs. i talk to folks, i talk to businesses and folks tell me they have never sat on more
capital and the reason they are doing that, they don't know what the reason of health care is going to be. they could be hiring people but because of the health care law and the uncertainty and the rising costs, we have business people who are not hiring. and we are not seeing job growth. this is why this is the flattest, longest recession we have seen in our country's history. this awful health care law is destroying the greatest health care system in the law. i get letters and emails every day hotel me that their premiums are going up. a woman is working three jobs and her husband is working part-time and working three jobs so she can pay for health care, before the premium increase. mr. speaker, we have seen so many folks who have had their lans canceled and said the lie
of the century is if you like your health care, you can keep it. when businesses have to look at whether they can keep folks on health care, whether the math adds adds up and afford to do that given the excessive mandates, we will see more people lose insurance. this is an absolute disaster. i'm committed to do everything i can to repeal this law. this is about people. in this country, the greatest country in the world, we can do better than this. we can offer health care that is quality health care, not bureaucrats in washington. i'm committed to repealing this law. but in the meantime, i urge my colleagues to support the bill that is coming to the floor tomorrow, a bill that deals with one of the disastrous aspects of
this law and that is the risk to millions of americans that their personal information can be stolen because of the lack of security on the obamacare web site. this is a horppedeous problem. and there is no accountability. we ask that you put that accountability in place. those folks have to be notified. the federal government think businesses have to be by that standard. i say the federal government ought to live by the same standard. if that information is compromised, and the government should take responsibility and rectify the situation. this is legislation that i hope my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, i hope the president will support. we owe it to the american people to do the right thing and make
sure their information is secure and if something happens, we do the right thing and notify those individuals and we rectify the situation and take responsibility for it. i urge my colleagues to support this legislation. it is the right thing to do by the american people and i urge them to vote yes. i yield back the balance of my time. mrs. wagner: i thank the gentleman for his leadership and to giving voice to not just this but the jobs issue. obamacare has done nothing but create a part-time work force. this is about access to care and care and millions of millions that have lost their coverage and deception to the american people and about a government bureaucracy, federal bureaucracy telling the american people
what's in their best interest. you, the american people, your constituents, they know what's in their best interest when it comes to their health care and their most intimate details whether it comes to their medical records and information or whether it has to do with their cost, coverage, their premiums, their co-pays, there is so much that must be repealed. the least federal government is protect the private information. i thank the gentleman from north carolina. it is migrate privilege to yield to my good friend, representative lankford from oklahoma. he is our leader and chairman on the republican policy committee, friend and colleague at the leadership table and i thank him for the work he does which is
monitoring the implementation of healthcare.gov. and i yield to the the gentleman lankford. ma mr. mr. lankford: thank you for your oversight. the gentlelady and i do not agree on football, she being from missouri and myself being an oklahoma state fan but we do agree on this, this is a critical area and this is what a government is supposed to. a government is designed to protect and to serve the people. the people don't serve the government, the government serves the people. the government is set to allow people to be able to live their lives as they choose. aalong comes from the affordable care act where the government looks down on the people and says i'm going to make better decisions. instead of you choosing your
doctor or hospital, instead of choosing your insurance, i'm going to pick a group of insurance policies, hospitals and doctors that i like as the government and you pick from my list and remove those choices from individuals. and in a web site and say you are required to go on this web site and enter your information. i don't know how you handle shopping on line. when i'm shopping, i'm careful. i want to make sure there are security protocols. some in thing some information. this one's different. this one, the power of the federal government is coming down on an individual saying i don't care what you have, enter your information, enter your children's information there.
now chief information security officer, the one who is set to be able to sign off on the safety protocols, but in september, she refused to sign off and to put her name onto the exchanges and the data hub and say it's ready to go and the security is there. her statement was, there was a high risk of security and there had been no end-to-end testing of this site and refused to sign off. this is the chief information security officer that is assigned to oversee. it was pushed up to the director f c.m.s. to have to make the sign-off because the person under her refused to do it. should americans be concerned? absolutely. there is still no certification
that this is fully tested, fully approved and not serious vullberblet. in the first week that the site was launched, the federal government brought in a white hacker, someone who is going to try to hack into the system. they found multiple vulnerabilities and reported it back. there are a locality of security vulnerabilities there. is there an issue in yes. a government that is set up to serve the people is actually trying to protect itself and not report when there's a problem. ou see, when target had 40 million credit cards stolen in a rare very incident for a retailer like that, my family being one of those, we were all notified. we were told, you are at risk. here's what has occurred.
go change your credit card. go protect your identity, because target has the responsibility to protect us and be able to let us know you have a risk. the federal government is saying, if someone breaks into our system, we have the responsibility to protect the federal government and not let anyone know instead of protecting the individual. government is served to protect the individual and don't say it will protect the federal government. this bill says the people are ore important than the program set up and if there has been a compromise of that information, they should be informed of that soy they can take the steps that are necessary to make sure them and their children have their information protected in the
days ahead. this is the right thing to do. this isn't a blanket partisan issue. we would want this on every web site that the federal government has whether it is the i.r.s. and e.p.a. computer. if it is compromised, that citizen should have a right to know. it is a reasonable protection. this is a reasonable thing to be able to do to step out and say until the days that we have until we believe the affordable care act will be repealed and the american people will have the ability to choose for them rather than the federal government saying we will make choices for you. and for that, i thank the gentlelady from missouri and i can't root for your football team. mrs. wagner: i appreciate the comments the gentleman from oklahoma. we won't debate the outcome of
the cotton bowl here on the well of the floor today. that will stand on its own merits but i appreciate his leadership on this very important health care issue. i appreciate his leadership on the policy committee and the work he does to communicate those in a way that is about serving the people, which is at the end of the day why we are here. government should be here to serve the people and not put the proper protections in place, it's good enough for the private sector, it ought to be more than good enough for the federal government and certainly the american people are worthy of these kinds of productions. and while i will say over and over again that obamacare is wrong for the american people. it is wrong for the people of the state of missouri and the second zrate district. it needs to be replaced.
but the lease that the government can do, mr. speaker, is require that we report any security breaches on the obamacare web site to these innocent victims who through no fault of their own trusted the government who has potentially did he seved them. i urge my colleagues to vote yes on this commonsense measure tomorrow. let's all stand for the american people and in service to them. a government that is not telling them what is best for them but is truly serving their interests and serving their needs. please stand and vote yes on the health exchange security and transparency act. mr. speaker, i will yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the the gentlewoman yields back. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the
chair recognizes the gentlelady from texas, ms. jackson lee for 30 minutes. ms. jackson lee: let me thank the speaker for his courtesies and the leader for her courtesies for the opportunity to share on the floor of the house. and i would offer to say to my colleagues who spoke earlier that we all recognize that the affordable care act has generated opportunities for nine million americans and growing. let's find common ground. we have a law that is legal and afffirmed by the united states supreme court, but afffirmed by what is most important, hungry americans needing good health care to save their lives and the
lives of their families. and frankly, i believe there needs to be security for all of the web sites of federal agencies rather than have bills that appear to be attacking the affordable care act again after 46 attempts to repeal it. let's find a way that we can work together to secure extensively the entire web site carefully that are utilized by the federal government. . . but i have an opportunity and want to cover an array of issues, as we begin this new year, i do want to wish everyone a happy new year, but as i do so, since i come from houston and have been a member of the house science committee for 12 years before moving to homeland security, i want to congratulate nasa and the white house, first
nasa, for themy rack louse and unbelievable space walk just bout a week or so ago, two outstanding astronauts, space walks are not often done, and they are much more difficult, in fact, extremely difficult than one might imagine, as you watch what seems to be an effortless, beautiful effort of activity in space. i want to congratulate them. that's science, that's genius, that is what these astronauts trained for. they're our neighbors. i was with them over the holiday and i want them to know on the floor of the house that this was outstanding work. i want to congratulate the white house because as many of us have advocated over the years, my colleague, who is no longer in he house, congressman nick
lamsa and myself, signed many letters to extend the life of the space station and i'm very pleased that it is now to extend the space station for four years and i'm optimistic that when that four years is nearing, there will be another assessment that there's more life in the international space station, opportunity for major research, including when i was on the science committee, cancer research in particular, heart disease, stroke, aging, as our former senator john glenn took a second ride into space as a member of the united states senate to test space travel on those who are aging. congratulations to nasa and the international space station. it speaks to the genius of america. it speaks to the aspirations and hopes of children around the world. it focuses on the emphasis in the united states on math, technology, engineering, and
science, science technology, engineering, an math, stem. it focuses on teachers who continue to emphasize to our children the importance of those disciplines and it gives us great hope. and that's a lot of what i will talk about tonight, is hope. for when we think of hope we must have a broad definition that it incompludes all americans. in fact, i believe from the very moment of the dumping of the tea in the boston harbor, the founding fathers of this nation, in spite of all the possible inequities, the holding of slaves, had hope. they left their places of persecution because they had hope. and we have grown through the ges from the 1600, 1700's, 1800's, 1900's, the 20th century, the 21st century, it's all been around hope. we were hopeful, the turn of the century, the 1900's, even as world war i was flaring, we were
1928-1929 n as the collapse. we were hopeful even as the horrific, heinous acts of world war ii, hoe the holocaust, people were hoping we would save people and get out of the dastardliness of that we were hopeful in the 1950's. we as african-americans were hopeful as we marched in the 1960's and 1950's, we were hopeful with the thurgood marshall argument before the united states supreme court on brown vs. board of education. we were hopeful. now we come to a situation of health inequality and we must assure those who fall in that gap, where they are not where they should be, not through no fault of their own, because of this increasing gap, an example, 1% wages of those in the top $352,900 plus, their
ncome grew 281% from 1979 to 2007. the bottom 20%, their income grew 16%, making less than $20,000. those making $34,000, it grew 23%. those making 34% -- making 24%.00 to $50,000, it grew some will argue, some of that is inherited wealth, some is stocks, but it is wealth inequality. i am moved by the words of justice bran dice -- we can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have
both. that is not snatching wealth from someone who has worked hard. it is evening the opportunity or that gap, 281% growth for the 1%, and numbers like 23% or 25% or 38% for the working middle class. we need to do better. and so, i think we need to start by stop quarreling about unemployment benefits extension. we did it under president bush with no offsets and as well for about five years with president bush even acknowledging that when people work and invest in this nation and they fall on bad times, give them a transitional bridge. some would say that our unemployment is going down. my friends on the chronically unemployed, it is the highest it's ever been, 2.6%. now that number is growing.
1.3 million in 2013, it'll go up to .6 million, 4,000 a week. so i'm not asking for the whole piece. i had a bill that said one year. let's extend it for three months on an emergency basis and then begin to discuss how we can fund it. ere's 68,000 jobless workers hat are in texas and we expect as it grows in 2014 to 1.9 million and more, as i said, 3.6 million growing, it will be 106,900. texans. i have spoken to some of those texans. i have heard the store riff oa welder, liked his job, laid off through no fault of his own, needs the transitional funding to be presentable for a job or a
person in technology or an administrative assistant or someone who worked in home health. i believe that we have a legitimate basis, creation of 200,000 jobs, a real dent in the economy, and an acknowledgment that the unemployment rate in he united states in 2012, 8.1% and states range from 3.1% to texas at 6.8%, missouri is 6.9%, 5%, 5.7%, 7% in alaska, delaware, 7.1%, it goes all over the gamut. the individuals are not able to find work because there are three persons looking for every job there. it generates inequality of wealth, there's nothing that will refute this except for a
transitional hand up for those unemployed and yes, job creation. my good friends the republicans say they passed a bill on job creation last year. yes, they did. and we have a bill. on job crowation. the jobs bill. that seems to me a compromise in the making. that seems to me an opportunity for us to sit arn the table and talk about technology and then talk about other aspects of job creation. because people have to be trained and retreaned. this week, i will introduce a a l that is studied not as bill introduced by a democrat, but is studied by the study for the substance of the bill called a new chance for a new start in life act of 2014. this is where you invest in
people. it creates an opportunity for someone who is unemployed and still on their unemployment benefit, remember, they've worked, this is an unemployment insurance, to get a stipend for certain accredited -- accredited -- specific job training that ties to the market. because my friends, all of us are going to say, well they're going to take their money and they're going to be on the basket weaving training program. or they're going to take a truck training program and they have no license. accredited programs. and then we're going to ask, so that person can provide for their family and their training can be paid for. and we're going to work through accredited social service agencies. we're going to partner with cities and nonprofit agencies for apprenticeships and
internships. every job is not an aparen disship. we want to work with our friends in the trades and the labor community. unions have done well for america. thank you for increasing our minimum wage and conditions in the work forest. let's find a way to work together. but sometimes it's an internship in an office or engineering company. and then to provide training and employment enhanced for veterans because there are 22,000 veterans included in that large number of those who are needing transitional funds. to work with community colleges in historically black colleges and hispanic serving institutions, to be able to find a way to get chronically unemployed persons in the workplace, investing, paying taxes, and loving it every moment. i've talked to folk who said that most that they want for
christmas and the new year is to have the alarm clock go up at 6:00 a.m. and jump out of bed to go to work. how are we going to cut these people off? what sense does it make? and then it's porn to note that added -- that as the components of problems we have is that poverty in america still exists. 49 million, poverty rates of african-americans and hispanics greatly exceed the national average. n 2010, 27.4% of blacks, 26.6% of hispanics for poor, compared to 12.9% of non-hispanic whites and 12.1% of asians. that's not targeting voters, it's going where the problem is. you know where else the problem is? single women of any race head of households. 31.6% of households headed by single women were poor while
households le of ed by men and 8.2% households with couples. in my district, 151,000 families plus live in poverty. that is not shameful to the extent that we can't solve that problem. we've seen the poverty gap close. nationwide. even though we know children still live in poverty from president lyndon baines johnson who spoke on the war on poverty on january 8 and said that we must live for hope, as i paraphrase. and he worked diligently with rograms from vista to medicaid to medicare to job training programs, to infrastructure
programs, to programs allowing young people to go to college. i am a witness of all of those programs. frankly worked in the president's summer youth program. and the hard area of my growth. and i have seen members mention it in the last 24 hours of how they participated in the same programs that happen now to be members of the united states congress. i'd like to know how many americans would call in to congress and say i'm a beneficiary of the war on poverty, the great society? why can we not find common ground to recognize that we can efficient but we can also invest in people. an ancient
philosopher in my remarks on this question -- any city, however small, is in fact divided into two and the city of the poor and the other of the rich. these are at war with one another. plato said that. and the question is, can we now that? 21st century rebut can we find a way to have hopeful people who are poor work with hopeful people who are rich and find a way to enrich both of them 1234 to give them work -- enrich both of them? to give them work and make them shining examples of what america is all about. . laying that groundwork, i hope my colleagues will join me in the second chance job act i have
introduced which will go alongside the kinds of incentives that the jobs bill that president obama has offered and the bill that was passed here in the house. why can't we both be on the same page of caring about getting a bill passed that both bodies will look at favorably? taking pieces. why can't we.net back to legislating again? -- why can't we get back to legislating again? giving and taking, making amendments. finding out what my friends on the other side want, finding out what we want here, having amendments accepted, making a bill that is not only through the regular order of the committee but here on the floor of the house, getting amendments that would satisfy an work with all of us. i think there is more work to do in many, many areas, mr. speaker, and i'd like to continue now to be able to offer some of my concerns. last evening on cnn there was a counting of a young lady tragically who attempted
suicide. a young bullying victim. first tragically being raped, not being believed and ultimately coming forward. i am sort of summarizing the facts. and then because this person was a star athlete in one of the midwestern states, the town turned on this young girl and her friend. everywhere. and i think it is time for america and the congress to make a statement on it. a simple statement. i'm not asking for much. but i've introduced h.r. 2585, the juvenile accountability block grant re-authorization and the bullying prevention and intervention act. of 2013. you'll be surprised how simple it is to be able to allow groups 501-c-3'sver america,
that maybe under the jurisdiction of a faith institution, youth groups, boy scout, girl scouts, tennis clubs , social service agencies, schools, to put their best practices forward and how they can believe they can stem the tide of bullying, what kind of intervention and add to that cyberbullying. it also provides for gang prevention programs, turn out children toward socially beneficial pathways. i had one member say to me, what would be wrong, what would be wrong with the congress making a unified statement that they want to prevent bullying and they want to intervene? thanks the simple process, four corners of the bill, and research studies have shown that
approximately 25% of school bullies will be convicted of a criminal offense in their adult years. nibble intervention. and i say -- i believe in intervention. and i say to my friends who are experts, all of the advocacy groups, i believe it would be very important if we came together and had this one statement that came out of the congress, that we want parents and schools and communities and baseball clubs and basketball clubs and football leagues to understand that we've all got to pour our energy into letting children know that to live healthy and free of intimidation is a good thing. that having your fun somewhere else, i don't know whether bullying led to this absurd game of knockout. but we've got to take a stand alongside of the personal intervention that comes about through the normal community ways.
for the record, it's important to note, 30% of u.s. students in grades six through 10 are involved in a moderate or frequent bullying, as bullies, as victims or both, according to the results of the first national survey on this subject. bullying is increasingly viewed as an important contributer to youth violence, including homicide and suicide. one out of four kids is bullied. the justice department says that in this month, one out of every four kids will be abused by another youth. surveys show that 77% of students are bullied mentally, verbally and physically. we have to find a way to make a national statement, what better wathan a congress that is the symbol of the most powerful nation in the world and the most powerful law making body? why is it so difficult to pass something as simple as that? it does not stop us from looking down the future when we have much more resources to deal with, to put a huge amount of funding in it, once best practices, once we get the spark
plug and get people excited about our federal government is concerned about this, let's look for enhanced best practices. let's make a statement on this, which i think is enormously important. i want to quickly -- and i hope that, as we debate these issues on the floor, that there will be members who will want to have a conversation. i want to say as well that many of us have experienced violence in our communities. i'm going to discuss that a little later. but i want to say it now. i've had a number of incidences of violence through knives, through guns in my own school districts in houston, even though we know that does not define our school districts, i say to them, when you have an incident like that, it is not a reflection on you, but it is a signal and a sign that the community must come together. we will look forward in houston to putting together a stop violence commission under the 18th congressional district. bringing people from the faith community, bringing other leaders, working with the
mothers demand action, m.d.a., who have come out every moment to stop gun violence. working with mothers and fathers who have had to bury their children. funerals that i atended over the holiday or before that time frame, i want to tell that mother whose son's funeral that i attended, i have not forgotten. we will embrace you and we will find a way that we can sit together and make a difference. let me switch now for a moment. i'll come back to that issue and remind us of the humanity of comprehensive immigration reform. i said that i had any number of issues that i think are weighing on many of us, as members of congress, weighing on those of us who are doers and want to do and i would venture to say that this is this entire body but we are getting stalled. and for what reason i dent know. but my hometown paper was -- i don't know. but my hometown paper was eager to review h.r. 1417 which is a bipartisan product that has come out of the subcommittee on
border security and martime security. my colleague from michigan, and out of the full committee with the chairman and ranking member of the full committee, a bill that has now been joined under h.r. 15 to put a bill forward in the house. and i would just ask, why can't we end the suffering of so many, end the divide and deportation of so many families, in the at sands, and begin to look the face community and business community, educational community, health community, research community, business community wants us to do, comprehensive immigration reform? texas is a prime example. 16.4% of texans are foreign-born. 42% are latino or asian. 33.2% of immigrants in the state are naturalized u.s. citizens. 7.8% of registered voters are
new americans. 87.7% of children with immigrant parents are u.s. citizens. 75% of children with immigrant parents are english-proficient. 70% of naturalized citizens have a high school paloma. 61,511 foreign students contribute $1.4 billion to the state economy. and they make up 21% of the work force, 9% of the work force is unauthorized. we need to get people from underneath the underground economy. we need families able to walk the streets together, mothers not being dragged out of homes. we need the dream act children to be able to raise their heads as u.s. citizens. we need access to citizenship. and this coming monday i will gather at catholic charities, with people from all over the community in houston, texas, and we'll be standing together, raising our voices as humane
americans. we'll be speaking about latinos and asians, we'll be speaking about africans, we'll be speaking about people from the caribbean, people from europe, people from canada, people from ireland. we'll be speaking about people from all over the world. that happen to be in houston, texas. it is time to pass comprehensive immigration reform and pass it now. mentioned very quickly that i would be going through a number of issues but let me just turn to the issue of guns. and let me pause for a moment and find out how much time i have, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman has three minutes remaining. mr. jackson: let -- ms. jackson lee: let me quickly mention that we must stop the violence of guns. when we think about 5,740 children being killed by guns,
i'd like again for this congress to look at 2812, which is a bill that deals with stand your ground, that we have not addressed from the trayvon martin and i'd like them also to quickly look at gun safety and gun access prevention, h.r. 65. i find that a way of being able to come together and keeping guns out of the handles of underaged children -- hands of underaged children and teaching gun safety to parents and children. i want to also join with my colleague on the foreign affairs committee and mention human trafficking as a major issue. we will be commemorated on january 11. but i will be hosting with the homeland security committee a hearing on human trafficking in houston, texas. quickly, i want to make mention of the congressional gold medal that i have from milala who is a
voice of strength, a young teenager gunned and shot, i wouldn't say gunned down because she lives in pakistan, only because she wanted girls to have education. i ask my colleagues to join myself and ileana ros-lehtinen to ensure that we do have, if you will, the honor of presenting this to her, nominated for the nobel peace prize, spoke before the united nations and host: that we will do that -- that we will do that. let me close, mr. speaker, by mentioning just two quick things and that is let us not forget our veterans, enormously important, and let us also move quickly for n.s.a. reforms. as a member of the judiciary committee that helped write the patriot act, section 215, that was not our interpretation, that was not legislative history patrolling megadata collection. we can be safe and secure and we will be presenting a briefing on
privacy insecurity next week in the judiciary committee, 2226, at 10:30. i hope all of the colleagues will come. but i have introduced legislation to make sure that there is a people's advocate in the fisa court, but more importantly that we restrain and find a way to restrain the megacollection and i hope the president in the reports that he has just received will be able to do that as well. let me also indicate that internationally i think this congress should deal with where we are in syria and where we are in south sudan. two places that i am concerned about, the human cost, if you will. we have a lot to do, mr. speaker. i just gave just small bits this evening, but we have a lot to do that we can do together in a bipartisan manner. and we can look at the affordable care act, just as a point in closing, because it's
been so divisive, and look at it that it's working. people want insurance. we can do that. and we can make sure that as we do so, mr. speaker, then america will see us working together. that's what i'd like to see happening. iving given an array of an agenda that touches the lives of people. let's get to work. i yield back, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. under the speaker's announced licy of january 3, 2013, the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from minnesota, mrs. bachmann, for 30 minutes. mrs. bachmann: thank you, mr. chair. as always, it's a privilege to be able to come to the greatest -- to the wellest house of representatives, the greatest deliberative body in the history of the world, to be here and have the opportunity to bring a voice to the table. and to speak to the american people as well as my constituents in the sixth district of minnesota. i want to join my colleagues in wishing happy new year to all of the people in the united states.
we look forward to a wonderful year in 2014. there are so many things that are good, that we can look forward to this year. so many things that this body can get done, that we can agree on. we can agree on our veterans, standing for them, thanking them, first of all, that tonight as we're here in this chamber we have men and women across the globe who are laying their lives on the line for us. our prayers are with you and our prayers are with your families. so, mr. speaker, i know that i speak for you and all of our colleagues, let our troops know there is nothing more important than the work that you do to secure our liberty and our freedom and we're for you and we'll be standing here for you this year as we have in the past. we also stand together in recognition that the first and greatest obligation of all of us as members of congress and this chamber is to secure the safety and security of the american people.
we do that here domestically but it's porn to make sure our national security is held safe, here in the homeland but also our vital american national security interests across the glofpblee that end, several of my colleagues and myself took a fact-finding trip in december after we had concluded our work in december, we went into the mideast, we took a very extensive journey, this was no pleasure trip in any way, this was a working mission, we went first into amsterdam, we met an individual who had one of the most extensive collections of communist penetration throughout the world. it was very interesting as we dialogued with him, communist infiltration, what that's meant over the course of history and what it means for americans today. from there we journeyed into cairo, egypt. we spoke with leaders of egypt. there's been a tremendous change
that has occurred and we know that it literally, in just something over a week's time, people in egypt will have an opportunity to go to the ballot box and vote in a referendum on a brand new constitution. the very brief recent history of egypt is that there was an overthrow in egypt of the mubarak presidency which had been stable for some 30-plus years. the people of egypt spoke. they were very unhappy with their government. there was a referendum that occurred and during that time, the muslim brotherhood came to power, the president, president mor see, the muslim brotherhood, through the freedom and justice party, established a new regime. so repulsed were the people of egypt by the muslim brotherhood and their tactics during the course of just something over a year, that the people of egypt took to the streets, some 33
million people, in what some people say was the largest human demonstration ever in the history of the world, because the people of egypt were outraged at the atrocities and extremism of the muslim brotherhood as they were displayed across egypt. really so much of this so-called ashe spring -- arab spring has been the persecution of christians, minorities and women, particularly in the mideast region, and nowhere has this been felt more than in egypt. the people rose up, you see in the egyptian constitution, put together by the muslim brotherhood, there was no avenue for the people to remove the muslim brotherhood president, morsi. there was no impeachment process like we have in the united states. the only option available to the people was to go into the street and demonstrate and seek the removal of the muslim brotherhood president. that's what the people
effectuated. in that time, there is now an interim president, his name is president monsor, i've met with him new mexico russ -- numerous times in cairo, we've had very good conversations with him, he told me in egypt, he will not be seeking re-election. we also met with the head of the military in egypt trying to maintain order in that country. we heard some very good news. mr. speaker, among the news we heard in egypt was this -- that egypt enjoyed the most favorable relationship with the jewish state of israel that they had ad in over 35 years. the obama administration asked egypt to work harder in sigh nye, the border between egypt and israel. the obama administration asked the egyptian government to work to clear out al qaeda and to try to secure that border because you see, mr. speaker, the muslim
brotherhood instead had been placing more attacks through using al qaeda and al qaeda elements in various flavors when you think of the old phrase at bass kin robbins, 28 flavors of ice cream, there's multiple flavors, if you will, mr. speaker, of al qaeda. here's the al nusra front. there's islama al jama. there's one organization after another. but they share the same ideology. much of the ideology makes its way through an organization called the muslim brorhood. the muslim brotherhood was actively facilitating attacks on israel through tunnels ruled by hamas which is essentially another affiliate, a franchise of the muslim brotherhood in the gaza region. whether it was weapons, whether it was attacks, whether tv fighters, israel had its hands
full in the sigh nye border. the good news -- in the sinai border. the mood news is the general and the interim president took to heart requests from the obama administration and for their own survival worked to take apart the al qaeda network and the strength that that there was of jihaddist based fighters on the sinai and they've been incredibly successful and i'm pleased to report to you, mr. speaker, tonight, that we -- what we heard from the leadership in egypt is that over 70% of the tunnel, in over 70% of the jihaddist activities on the sinai has been silenced, deconstructed, taken apart, that means that israel has had a better time, a more peaceful time on its border but also this helped the egyptian government as well. because the nile river in egypt
is a dividing point. you have western egypt, and eastern egypt. eastern eyipt being the more violent where it's been essentially labeled a wild west, you will, in the sinai. they've been very difficult for securing peace in the mideast. very difficult for israel. but we have to thank the current interim government under the leadership of president monsor and the guidance of the general in the sinai region. that's the good news. of all the turmoil and all the chaos that there is today in the mideast, this is our bright and shining spot. the united states in my opinion needs to do everything that we can to encourage and foster peace in this region. as i believe that my colleagues, whether it's on the democrat side, on the republican side, whether it's in the house, whether it's in the senate, this is something that we agree upon. we want to see peace in the mideast. peace in the largest muslim
country, arab country in the mideast, which would be egypt but also peace in the jewish state of israel. this is the place to forge that peace. and the good news is to hear, on this very sensitive border, we're seing the egyptians working together to make sure that there can be peace to fight a common enemy and that would be the al qaeda and the radical elements in this regime. that's good news. we went from cairo, egypt, where we heard very good news from general -- from the general, very good news from the head of the committee of 50 that's writing a new constitution that the people of egypt will be voting on in the referendum on january 14 and january 15, i believe the people of egypt will see the wisdom in this new constitution which by the way, mr. speaker, does have a provision for impeachment so people in egypt in the future
have an opportunity now to be able to changer that president nd their country and they also guaranteed -- guarantee freedom of belief in egypt and also they have a dedication to rebuilding the houses of worship that were destroyed by the muslim brotherhood. the muzz lick brotherhood destroyed shops, homes and places of worship of coptic christians in egypt and the government is committed to rebuilding the christian houses of worship in egypt. this is a wonderful advancement for peace and for tolerance in that region of the world and one that i think we should encourage and get behind. from there, my colleagues and i, this was a delegation led by representative steve king of iowa, also in attendance, representative louie gohmert of texas, and also representative robert pittinger of north carolina. from there we went on to beirut,
lebanon, which has been a hotbed of violence because iran has seen an avenue of advancement. and through working -- and working through the terrorist organization hezbollah, iran has been bringing increased terror between sunni and shia in southern lebanon. we flew into the airport at beirut, the airport at beirut is controlled by hezbollah there we met with the ambassador, we met with leaders of political parties and it is devastating to hear what they have to say about the increased violence. suicide bomber, wearing a vest, detonated that vest during our time when we were there. obviously we weren't anywhere nearby. we weren't in any form of danger, but a vest was detonated, four people were killed. also a soldier had shot into israel and killed an israeli soldier during the time we were there. very, very strong, increased violence.
violence occurred prior to our entry, violence continues to occur and there are now new reports, mr. speaker, of iran bringing even more dangerous, lancher, deadly weapons into that area, bringing again to the fore, the encrease in fighting between sunni and smee shia. that's the kind of pressure that the jew herb state of israel is looking at on its northern border. without even contemplating what's happening in syria. syria, mr. speaker, has completely fallen apart. it's completely -- it's complete chaos now with assaad having estimated to have killed over 200,000 of his own people, but now the so-called moderates --, -- who were being backed led by the general, the general has reportedly left syria and the extremist elements including al qaeda, of the islamic jihaddist
regime is now fighting against assaad. so we have two very bad options in syria today. and very recently, these -- these islamist jihaddist fighters took over a weapons cache, of very dangerous weapons, and they have control of those weapons. where we go from here in syria is a very, very difficult question. we have such utter chaos that lebanon is the recipient of the greatest number of syrian refugees on a daily basis. so we have the tension of palestinian refugees who have gone into libya -- into lebanon. we have iran who has its presence through hezbollah, the terrorist organization, very agitated. some estimates are as high as 100,000 missiles are located in people's homes, in schools, in nurseries, in nursing homes,
embedded in civilian areas, right on israel's northern border. utter, complete, breakdown and chaos in syria. then you have all the tension in iraq with increasing battles going on again between sunni and shia in iraq, iraq at one point had been fairly close to being secured by american presence, it is now utterly fallen apart. there continue to be attacks by the taliban, a new report just came in that the taliban presumably is responsible for six americans who were killed in december, we have karzai, the head of the -- the head of afghanistan who is not willing to agree to the final settlement terms in afghanistan to have aid and u.s. presence, despite the fact that the united states supplies something like 95% of the economy in afghanistan and
this is the thanks we're getting out of afghanistan. we have that kind of tension and pressure together with numerous prisons where the worst of the worst islamist thug al qaeda flavor jihaddists have been let prison, going into syria, and from syria, who knows where. again, adding to the pressure on israel. at the same time, we have what in my mind was the very dangerous p5 plus one agreements dealing with iran and dealing with trying to prevent or at least stop or at least freeze in place iran's nuclear program, which all the world knows will be meant to give iran a nuclear weapon and the missile delivery system capable of delivering those weapons against israel,
against western europe, and against the united states. this is the greatest threat that the world faces today. a nuclear iran. and even while we are here in this chamber tonight, mr. that r, many people think the six month freeze is on tonight. that when president obama went to the microphone, about a little after 10:00 at night on saturday night, to announce with vigor that we had concluded this agreement with iran and we will now have a six-month freeze. that sex-month period hasn't even started yet. no one knows when that six-month period of a so-called freeze will even start. so mr. speaker, what i'm saying quite frankly is that as we're standing in that chim behr tonight, iran continues to enrich uranium for a nuclear
weapon. they're enriching it to 20%. that's not a small amount. it may sound small. that's a huge leap towards weapons-grade uranium. they continue to install center fuges. they -- centrifuges. they have new generation centrifuges that can spin to enrich uranium six times faster than the current generation. iran hasn't given up one ounce of its storage of enriched uranium. they haven't stopped their research and development on their delivery systems of their missiles. they haven't stopped research and development on the war heads that would go on the tips of missiles to deliver a nuclear bomb. they haven't stopped the production on the facility of plutonium at iraq that continues going on. nothing has stopped. in fact, the only thing we have
heard from iran is from the iranian leadership, the parliament has said, why don't we start enriching to 60%? you see, weapons-grade is 90%. why don't we up it even further? that's what the parliament is saying today. after the agreement was signed. the mullahs, the religious leaders that effectively control iran, are saying that this agreement means nothing to them. as a matter of fact, the leader of iran said that they won't change one eye oata of their nuclear -- iota of their nuke leak program. you see, it's very interest -- of their nuclear program. you see, it's very interesting. i think when med men speak, the world should listen. and iran is acting in a way that is indicative of any mad men of all time, it is currently iran. and what they're plan -- player plan is to have, domination --
and when their plan is, to have domination across the world, by the use of nuclear weapons, to wipe millions of innocent people off the map, beginning with the jewish state of iran. of israel. you see, about 80% of the people hat live in israel travel to the tel aviv area for their employment. it's not -- it doesn't take much imagination to see how easy it would be for iran to send multiple nuclear missiles and virtually bipe out -- wipe out the jewish state of israel. but let us never think, as iran calls israel the little satan, iran calls the united states the great satan. and we should never delude ourselves to think that this is -- dilute ourselves to think that this is a middle east-only problem. it isn't, mr. speaker. i wish i could say it was. this is a problem that the world must deal with. and during the course of our travels in december, for the week that we were in the middle
east, we were very disturbed by what we heard. by various leaders. as a matter of fact, there was one leader that we met with in lebanon during our time there, that very dangerous area, it was so dangerous, as a matter of fact, that this leader about a year earlier had been shot, there were three snipers. he pointed over a wall, they had to build a wall around his house, he's now confined to his house and the compound around his house is too dangerous for him to even leave, there was three snipers about a mile away that took a shot at him while he was in his backyard. he almost lost his life. and now he's confined to his backyard. and this is what he had to say to us, mr. speaker, when we were there. he told us, unfortunately in the last two to three years there has been virtually no u.s. leadership in the middle east. that's reminiscent of what we heard the former leader of poland tell the world. that the united states has no
longer -- is no longer the political leader nor the moral leader of the world. that we have effectively walked off the world stage. and that the world needs the leadership of the united states. we heard that repeated by this leader in lebanon. he also told us, he said that the opinion of the united states has gone down dramatically in the middle east. he said he has a brother who's in the united states and it's been a shock for his brother, very intelligent individual in the united states, a shock to see how the united states has failed to respond to the rise of islamic jihadist activity in the middle east. and how it has negatively impacted united states national security. he said, there is no strategy, there is no outlook. united to be that the
states just acts day to day, no strategy. shouldn't our strategy be the security and safety of the american people? shouldn't our strategy, shouldn't our aim be securing american vital interests in the middle east, standing with the best ally we have in the world, the jewish state of israel? and yet the middle east doesn't have any idea what our strategy is. because they're telling us it looks like it's ad hoc day to day. he said, i'm telling you this as a friend. he said, prior there were no russians in the middle east. no russian influence and presence. he said, now the russians have strengthened and have a very strong presence in the middle east. he said, it's been very frustrating in the last two or three years. he said, the saudi arabians have long been our friends. friends of the united states. but the saudi arabians he said no longer seem to trust the united states. he said, the p-5-plus-1 agreement has made iran stronger than ever before.
and he told us that iran is hezbollah. and so he is facing things from hezbollah every day. he said that there is more money available for hezbollah because we have decreased, we've essentially lifted sanctions on iran. all this has done is free up money so more money can go to the terrorist organization, hezbollah, in lebanon, and that is being used to hurt israel as well. well, whether it's syria, whether it's iraq, whether it's bahrain, whether it's saudi arabia, all of these countries are wondering what in the world the united states is doing. because what they are saying to us is that things are much worse on the ground in the middle east. as the iranians have only turned their burner off temporarily, they can turn it back on again. and i quote from him. this makes iran stronger than ever, stronger in the middle
east. that's what we heard, mr. speaker, on the ground from leaders in lebanon. that iran has been strengthened through this failed p-5-plus-1 agreement. from lebanon, mr. speaker, we went down to tripoli, libya, to get some answers on benghazi. and get some answers on what the p-5-plus-1 agreement will mean in libya. what we heard is that -- we spoke with the prime minister in libya, we spoke with leaders of the justice department and the foreign minister as well. i asked them specifically about benghazi. i asked them, why was our f.b.i. prevented from going into libya, specifically to benghazi, to conduct an investigation for four or five weeks after the terrible tragedy on september 11? and the response that we received was that this was a great insult to libya, when this
attack occurred and this was an attack against libya and the libyan people. now, this compound that was attacked in benghazi is considered sovereign american soim. this was -- soil. this attack, when chris stevens, our ambassador was killed, and the three other brave americans were killed this was an attack on america, on our compound, on our ambassador, on our american soldiers. this was an attack against us, not on libya, against us. there was absolutely no reason why the libyan government prevented our f.b.i. from coming in on our sovereign territory and conducting an investigation. journalists were inside. we know that cnn picked up the ambassador's diaries and walked out with the ambassador's diaries. other sensitive information was on the ground.
people came in and walked away with it. but the f.b.i. couldn't get in? this is only the only ambassador in 30 years to be killed and we couldn't get in? to find out what in the world happened, ask people, figure out what's going on? it's been over a year. we still don't know who, what, where, when, how, why and how much were we prevented from knowing because we were kept out of that country by over -- for four and five weeks? it was wrong and i told that to the leadership in libya when we were there. it was wrong. that needs to be rectified. we demand and we expect full cooperation in getting to the bottom of benghazi. that must be done. and that's a bipartisan issue, that's not a partisan issue. well, from libya we traveled up to israel, where we met with
prime minister netanyahu netanyahu, the defense secretary , we were extremely grateful for the time that we had there. again, there's no question that the p.m., -- prime minister, netanyahu netanyahu, told us that it was the worst day in 10 years when the p-5-plus-1 agreement was struck. the worst day in 10 years. no one will be more negatively impacted by a nuclear iran than the jewish state of israel. wouldn't you think it would be wise for the united states and for the great nations of the world to listen to the concerns of the lamb that is on the slaughtering block? when they say, wait a minute, this is the worst thing we could do, the p-5-plus-1 agreement. because this will not prevent, this will not stop iran from getting a nuclear bomb. that was confirmed on this most recent trip when we were with the prime minister. he's very concerned about that.
he's also very concerned about the international criminal court as well. and the fact that israel will soon be drawn in to the criminal court. there could be actions of taking the united states in. we want to be under u.s. law. and we need to maintain the united states as a sovereign nation and our american people subject only to united states sovereign law. we don't want the american people subject to some international court. the american people must now and forever -- for always, only be subject to the american courts, because only here will we be allowed to enjoy the protections under the constitution that we have today. that will not happen under an international criminal court. from israel, we traveled and went on up to vienna where we met with the international
atomic energy agency. this agency is tasked with overseeing the p-5-plus-1 agreement with iran. we appreciated our time in vienna. we appreciated being able to speak with those who were present, to talk about the process, what they will do. but i will tell you, on behalf of my colleagues, we didn't leave with the sense that we could have complete trust in knowing that the iaea, while they will perform their jobs, that they will be able to completely appreciation -- appreciate when and if iran decides to move into the creation of a nuclear weapon. that's something that we can't get wrong. where do we go, if we get that wrong? mr. speaker, if i can ask, how much time remains? the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. mrs. bachmann: i thank you. i appreciate that and thank you
for allowing me time to relate some of my concerns that we heard on our recent trip to the middle east. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from minnesota is recognized for a motion. mrs. bachmann: mr. speaker, i don't have -- the question is -- i move -- i move that the house do now adjourn, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted. accordingly, the house stands adjourned until 9:00
>> good morning. i cannot to this office where i've been many times before. i come out to his office today to apologize to the people of new jersey. i apologize to the people of fort lee and i apologize to the members of the state legislature. embarrassed and humiliated by the conduct of some of the people on my team.
there is no doubt in my mind that the conduct exhibited is completely unacceptable and showed it a lack of respect -- showed a lack of respect for the role in the government and the people they were trusted to serve. of what i want to talk about today. i believe that all of the people who were affected i this conduct -- by this conduct deserve this apology and this is why i'm giving it to them. i also need to apologize to them for my failure as the governor understand the true nature of the problem sooner than i did.
but i believe i have an understanding of the true nature of the problem and i have taken the following action as a result . this morning, i have terminated the employment of richard kelly effective amended -- immediately. she was terminated because you lie to me. i brought my senior staff together about four weeks ago tomorrow and i put to all of -- ifne simple challenge there is any information that you know about the decision to close these lanes in fort lee, you have one hour to tell either my chief of staff kevin o'dowd or my chief counsel, charlie mckenna. i told him that in an hour i was going to go out and a press
conference and if no one gave me any information to the contrary that i was going to say that no one on my staff was involved in this matter. of the next few hours, they interviewed members of the senior staff, came back and reported to me that they all reported that there was no information other than what we that had been testified to by senator baroni regarding this incident. kevin o'dowdoned and car -- charlie mckenna rectally since they are the only two who report directly to me they hadassured me and no information that would change one onity to say that no my staff was involved in this matter. .hat was obviously a lie
the mills lysol yesterday --ning when they were broken the e-mails that i saw yesterday morning when they were broken proves that is a lie. there is no justification for that behavior. there is no justification for or alying to a governor person in authority in this government. as a result i have terminated the employment immediately this morning. , i have and will continue to, starting with yesterday, to once again now have personal one-on-one discussions myself with the remaining officers -- members of my senior staff to determine if there is any other information that i do not know and need to
know in order to take appropriate action. i am not completed with those interviews yet. am, if there is additional information that needs to be disclosed i will do so. if there is additional action that needs to be taken with my senior staff, i will do so. -- it tell you, though has been written a lot over the past couple of days about what a an howit staff i have closely every work -- everyone works together. that is true. as i was u.s. attorney i have engendered a sense and feeling among the people closest to me that we are family and we work together and we tell each other the truth and support each other when we need to be supported and we admonish each month -- admonish each other when we need to be admonished. i am heartbroken that i permitted to be in that circle of trust for the last five euros
-- years betrayed my trust. i would never have come out here -- four oreks ago five weeks ago and made a joke about these link loge or's -- lane closures if i had had an inkling that anyone on my staff would have been so stupid as to be involved in and so deceitful as to not disclose the information of their involvement to me when directly asked by their superior. those questions were not asked just once. they were after beautifully. -- they were asked repeatedly. i take this action today because it is my job. i am responsible for what happened. i am sad to report to the people of new jersey that we fell short.
we fell short of the expectations that we have created over the last four years for the type of excellence in government they should expect from this office. but i have repeatedly said to them that while i promised them the best governor's office i could give them, i could never promise them a perfect one. when i find those imperfections, those mistakes, those lies, my obligation as a chief executive of the state is to act. as to bridget kelly, i have acted today. disturbed by the attitudebehavior and of caliber ash callus indifference is displayed in the ofails -- and the attitude callous indifference displayed
in the e-mails. reading that, it made me lose my confidence in bill's judgment. you cannot have someone at the top of your political operation who you do not have confidence in. instructed, i have to not placeand his name in nomination for state party chairman and he will not be considered for state party chairman. i have instructed him to withdraw his consultancy with republican governor's association. if i cannot trust someone's judgment, i cannot ask others to do so. i would not place him at the head of my political operation because of the lack of judgment that was shown in the e-mails that were revealed yesterday. that is also been communicated.
bill hasno doubt that been one of my closest advisers over the last five years. today -- sadm said today to have to take this action. i also know that i have a job to do. it is a job that i have asked the people of new jersey to entrust me with and i can never allow personal feelings or long- standing relationships to get in the way of doing my job the way it is appropriate to do it. to i don't want any of you confuse what i am saying this morning. ultimately, i am responsible for what happened -- happens under my watch, the good and the bad.
when mistakes are made, then i have to own up to them and take the action that i believe is necessary in order to remediate them. as i mentioned earlier, i spent all day yesterday digging in to talking to folks and getting to the bottom of things. another was much discussion yesterday about, what was i doing? that we tell you -- i was blindsided yesterday morning. i was done with my workout yesterday morning. i got a call from my communications director at about 8:50, 8:55 informing me of the story that had broken on the website. that was the first i'd knew about that, seen any of the documents revealed yesterday. toore i came out and spoke all of you, i wanted to do the best that i could to get to the
bottom of some of this so that when i came out i could answer and take as best i can appropriate action if action was necessary. there is no doubt from reading those e-mails yesterday, in my mind, that action was necessary. want to make sure that i spoke to those people that advised me to make sure there was any interest ash any other there wasn -- that any other information that they were aware of that i had before i acted. i want to continue this process. i could not get it all done yesterday. more information than i am cover i will act accordingly in terms of releasing it to the public and taking whatever net ash action -- taking whatever action is necessary. given there is an oig investigation and legislative investigation. later today i am going to be going to fort lee and asked to
meet with the mayor to apologize to him personally, face to face. i will also pillage you -- apologize to the people of fort lee in their town. i think they need to see me do that personally and 910 to do that later on today. that latertend to do on today. apologize.o let me conclude with this -- this is not the tone that i have set over the last four years in this building. it is not the environment i have worked so hard to achieve. we saw just a few months ago, and i have seen of the lot -- the course over the last four years, republicans and democrats working together. not without arguments, but ultimately coming to resolution on so many different issues in a
and-- bipartisan way running a campaign that was a bipartisan campaign. so i'm extraordinarily disappointed by this. but this is the exception. it is not the rule of what has happened over the last four years and the administration. it to be my job to be the governor of every new jersey and -- new jersey and -- jersian, republican, democrat, and independent. i've worked with officials on both sides of the aisle, once i have disagreed with and agreed with. the political overtones that were exhibited in those documents released yesterday by the conduct of those people is not acceptable. but people all across this state understand. they understand that human beings are not perfect. mistakes are made.
what they expect of me as the chief executive of the state is when that information comes into my possession that i consider it and act as swiftly as possible illemediate whatever occurred. that is what i have done today. actions have consequences. i am living up to that right now. , just say one last thing so we are really clear. i had no knowledge or involvement in this issue. in its planning or its execution. abjectunned by the stupidity that was shown here regardless of what the facts ultimately uncover. this was handled in a callous and indifferent way and it is
not the way the administration has conducted itself of the last four years and not the way it will conduct itself over the next four. i will do everything in my power to assure the people of new jersey that and i thank them for their willingness to consider my apology on behalf of of this government. in the and, -- indian bank -- end, i havein the thousands of people working for me and i cannot know what they are doing it every minute. but i'm still responsible for what they are doing. >> beyond the apology in the terminations, what other --crete steps you plan to for the people of new jersey and the people of the country that you want to change the perception of what has happened here. workingt include
cooperatively with the investigation that is now moving forward? in the past, you had some rather nasty words for people heading them up. >> yeah, and i apologize for that this morning. from under the belief folks around me that there was no basis for it. so let's be fair. there have been times when there have been investigations around here that have led to nothing and have had no basis, but i was wrong. now having been proven wrong, of course we'll work cooperatively with the investigation. and i'm going through an examination as i mentioned to you right now. that's what i'm doing. i'm going through an examination and talking to the individual people who work for me, not only to discover if there's any other information we need to find, but also to ask them how did this happen? how did this occur to us? i think -- listen, i said before, i had a tight knit group of people who i trust
implicitly. i had no reason to believe they weren't telling me the truth. it is heartbreaking to me that i wasn't told the truth. i'm a very loyal guy. and i expect loyalty in return. and lying to me is not an exhibition of loyalty. so i'm going to look into this personally. this is my responsibility, david. what steps we'll take after that, if there are concrete steps beyond what i have done today, then we'll certainly announce them and talk about them. if not, then i'll just say, i think we have gotten to the bottom of this and we'll move forward with the new team. i have a new team coming in as well who i'm trying to integrate now also in the next two weeks. there will be a lot of action going on around here. [inaudible]
>> no, i'm not. listen, kelly, everybody in the country who engages in politics knows that. on the other hand, that's very, very different than saying that someone is a bully. i have very heated discussions and arguments with people in my own party and own the other side of the aisle. i feel passionately about issues. i don't hide my emotions from people. i am not a focus group tested, blow-dried candidate or governor. now, that has always made some people, as you know, uneasy. some people like that style, some people don't. and i have always said, i think you asked me a question after the election, are you willing to change your style in order to appeal to a broader audience? i think i said no. because i am who i am. but i am not a bully.
what i will tell you is that the folks who have worked with me over a long period of time would, i believe, tell you that i'm tough. but i've shown over the last four years and the tone we have set here that i'm willing to compromise, that i'm willing to work with others. and the campaign showed with all of the folks who came from the other side of the aisle to support us, if we weren't willing to have relationships with those folks, it never would have happened that way. i don't believe that, kelly, and i don't believe the body of work in the last four years displayed that. now, in this instance the language used and the conduct displayed in those emails is unacceptable to me. and i will not tolerate it. but the best can i do is when i see stuff like that to end it. and i know that won't satisfy everybody, but i'm not in the business of satisfying everybody. i'm in the business of trying to
satisfy the people who elected me governor. michael. >> governor, you stated you're going to individually interview all the members of the governor's office. >> senior staff. >> what about the campaign? are you going to personally interview -- >> there was no one above bill in the campaign. he was the campaign manager. there was no one above. their role in the campaign was not the day-to-day operation in the campaign. bill was the chairman of the campaign and he was essentially involved in fundraising. that was bill's main task. mike duhain was the general consultant. he dealt with tv ads. the day-to-day operation of the campaign -- >> was it that they did not know about it? >> yes. i have spoken to both of them. they were two of my discussions yesterday. angie.
angie. guys, we don't work that way. >> how confident are you that this tactic will not go beyond this? >> listen, i'm not going -- i'm smart enough now after this experience not to go out there and certify that unequivocally. ok? i don't have any evidence before me as we speak that it went beyond this incident. but i can't tell you that i know that for sure as to every aspect of everything. now, i have to be much more circumspect about that. prior to yesterday i believed that if i looked someone in the eye who i worked with and trusted and asked them that i would get an honest answer. maybe that was naive. that's what i believed. now i'm going in and digging in and asking more questions. can i make a warranty on that? i don't believe so. but i can't make a warranty on that and i won't because when i did that four weeks ago i wound up being wrong.
>> did you not authorize -- >> absolutely not. no. and i knew nothing about this. until it started to be reported in the papers about the closure. even then, i was told this was a traffic study. senator brodie testified it was a traffic site. there still may have been a traffic study that now has political overtones to it as well. i don't know the answer to that, angie. we are going to find out. but i don't know because senator brodie presented all types of information that day to the legislature, statistics and maps and otherwise, that seemed evidence a traffic study. why would i believe that anybody would not be telling the truth about that? i think i said that at the time. not finished yet, guys. but the fact is that regardless of all that, it's clear now that in the minds of some people there were political overtones
or political side fields on this. and that's unacceptable. so whether there was a traffic study or not, i don't know. it appeared there was one based on what i saw in the testimony, but regardless of whether there was or wasn't there clearly also political overtones that were evident in that -- in those emails and other messages that were never, ever brought to my attention until yesterday. >> do you understand why people would have a hard time -- it is your management style. that you didn't know about it. what is that say about --? >> listen, i am -- there's this repetition out there me being a micromanager. i'm not. i think if you talk to my staff what i tell you is i delegate enormous authority to my staff. and enormous authority to my cabinet.
and i tell them, come to me with the policy decisions that need to be made, with some high level personnel decision that is need to be made, but i do not manage in that kind of micro way first. second, there is no way that anybody would think that i know about everything that's going on not only in every agency of government at all times, but also every independent authority that new jersey has on its own or by state with new york, pennsylvania, and delaware. so what i can tell you is people find that hard to believe, i don't know what else to say except to tell them that i had no knowledge of this. the planning, execution, or anything about it. then i first found out about it after it was over. and even then what i was told was that it was a traffic study. and there was no evidence to the contrary until yesterday. that was brought to my attention or anybody else's attention.
i understand why people would ask that question and i understand your question completely. but what i also want to tell the people is that even with all that being said, it's still my responsibility. i didn't know about it, but it's my responsibility because i'm the governor. so i'm faking that -- i'm taking that responsibility and taking actions appropriate with executing the responsibility in accord with what the information is today. marcia? >> [inaudible] >> as i have said many times, when i was u.s. attorney i hated when politicians stood behind a podium and said, this is what the u.s. attorney should or shouldn't do and i'm not going to engage in that conduct. >> are you asking your staff are there any other cases --
>> listen, again. let me say this. clearly that's the tone of those emails, but the thing that -- the other part that shocks me is, as i have said to you all many times before, the mayor was never on my radar screen. he was never mentioned to me as somebody whose endorsement we were pursuing. i think he said on cnn he doesn't recall being asked for his endorsement. so part of this is i never saw this as political retribution because i didn't think he did anything to us. now, we pursued lots of endorsements during the campaign from democrats, and we didn't receive most of them. we received about 60 at the end of the day. we pursued hundreds. so i never -- i don't have any recollection of at any time anybody in the campaign ever
asking me to meet with mayor sokolich or call him which was the typical course that was used when we were attempting to get endorsement that staff would work with the elected official first and then when they thought, using the vernacular, the ball was on the tee, they would call me in to make a phone call or have a meeting over breakfast and i would meet with the elected official and see if i could bring it over the line. i don't remember ever meeting the mayor, certainly never did in that context. i'm sure i met him at some point at an event, but i have to tell you, until i saw his picture last night on television, i wouldn't have been able to pick him out of a lineup. so part of this is the reason that the retribution idea never came into my head is because i never even knew that we were pursuing his endorsement. and no one ever came to me to get me to try to pursue the endorsement in any way. i never saw it as a serious effort.
>> now that you know it did happen -- >> of course, of course. john, john. >> [inaudible] >> with the birthday party, mine? >> what you ask yourself about -- \[inaudible/] >> if -- listen, obviously i said earlier john, i'm heartbroken about it. and i'm incredibly disappointed. i don't think i have gotten to the angry stage yet, but i'm sure i'll get there. i'm just stunned. and what it make me ask about
me? it makes me ask about me what did i do wrong to have these folks think it was ok to lie to me? and there's a lot of soul- searching that goes around with this. when you're a leader of an organization, and i have had this happen to me before where i have had folks not tell me the truth about something, not since i have been governor, but in previous leadership positions, you always wonder about what you could do differently. believe me, john, i haven't had a lot of sleep the last two nights, and i have been doing a lot of soul-searching. i'm sick over this. i have worked for the last 12 years in public life developing a reputation for honesty and directness and blunt talk. one that i think is well deserved.
but when something like this happens, it's appropriate for you to question yourself. and certainly i am. and i am soul-searching on this. but what i also want the people of new jersey to know is that this is the exception not the rule. and they have seen that over the last four years with the way i have worked and what i have done. i don't want to fall into the trap of saying, well, this one incident happened, therefore the one incident defines the whole. it does not. just like one employee who's lied doesn't determine the character of all the other employees around you. so i don't want to overreact to that in that way either, john. if you're asking me over the last 48 hours or last 36 hours i have done some soul-searching, you bet i have. ryan. >> the mayor is quoted as saying the day he declined to endorse , as many as 10 appointments between state officials and city officials were canceled.
how do you explain that in context of what you now know about some of your staff? >> all i know is i don't know ryan, is the first answer. what i'll also say is, the mayor has disagreements with lots of people, me, senate president, and others. there's going to be back and forth. there's going to be meetings canceled. there's going to be public disagreements. but the fact of the matter is we have continued to work with jersey city over the course of time since he's been mayor. in the last year i think we have approved about $190 million in e.p.a. financing for projects in jersey city. the d.e.p. deputy commissioner was just meeting yesterday with mayor philip and his staff on issues to try to buy properties affected by sandy. we continue to work with him. i don't know about specific meetings or what's going on, but certainly i will look into all of those things.
but the fact is that what mayor philip knows is what we agree with him from a policy perspective, we'll work with him. when we disagree we'll express those. sometimes that will mean friction. he's suing the port authority at the moment. there's lots of back and forth and to and fro that happens. i look into all this stuff. in the end, have i at times been angry at the mayor for you bet i have? i also spoke at his swearing-in at his invitation. political relationships in this state go up and down as you know, brian. sometimes strange bedfellows. sometimes expected ones. and they move. i'm sure there's been movement in those relationships over time. not anything that i could explain as to the specific question. >> i heard that you actually learned something new. the universal apology in the
state of new jersey include the press corps? >> sure. most of you, i hope, are citizens of new jersey. so you -- >> there are exceptions. >> i know. we don't need to point it out. of course it does because the fact is i came out here and said something that was untrue. unwittingly, but i said something was untrue. i think what you-all have seen about me over the last four years in my dealings with you is i deal with you directly. and i say exactly what i think. and i think over time i have developed a reputation for telling you all the truth, as i see it. there could be disagreements. but the truth as i see it. so, yes, would i include the press corps? of course i would, because most if not -- many if not most of you are residents of the state and you rely upon this state government to be honest and trustworthy as well. and in this instance my government fell short and i take responsibility for that and that's why i'm apologizing.
>> i was wondering what your staff said to you about why they lied to you. why would they do that? what was their explanation? >> i have not had any conversation with bridget since the email came out. she was not given the opportunity to explain to me why she lied because it was so obvious she had. i'm quite frankly not interested in the explanation at the moment. i'm not done yet. second part of the question. i think general sampson put out a statement yesterday that had he no knowledge of this. i interviewed him yesterday, he was one of my interviews. i'm convinced he has absolutely no knowledge of this. this was executed at the operational level and never brought to the attention of the board of commissioners until chairman foy -- executive director foy wrote his teams. we sat and met for two hours with general sampson.
again i'm confident that he had no knowledge of this based upon our conversations. and his review of his information. i think as he said yesterday he's angered by this and upset about it, and i know that he's going to lead -- cooperate with the o.i.g. investigation that's ongoing and lead a discussion at the port authority about what could be done in the future to stop such conduct. >> you mentioned earlier that the question you were asking a reflection what did i do wrong? are you also asking the question, what did i say or how did i conduct myself in a way that would let these folks think it was ok to carry out such a scheme like this?
>> charlie, i haven't because i know who i am. i'm not that person. it's easy for people to be characterized in public life based upon their personality. and i have a very direct, blunt personality. i understand why some people would characterize that, especially people who don't like you, as bullying, but it's not that. i know that about myself and no , i haven't asked that question. i'm more focused on why the truth wasn't told to me. melissa. >> are you going to also apologize -- >> i just did. i just did. i said i'm sorry for that and i would have never made that joke if i knew the facts that have come forward to me today. i thought it was absurd and thought we had nothing to do with it. that's why.
obviously, the email evidence is endous indifference to that i intend to apologize for that. i certainly intend to apologize to the mayor today. i'm going to try to get a meeting with him this afternoon. >> [inaudible] >> i read that. i didn't read that that way. at all. and that was a reference to a traffic study that, candidly, i knew nothing about. i recognize that the email said
something about the gov supported it or endorsed it. i don't know anything about it i have to believe that was like the governor's office generically, that reference. as i stand here today i don't know anything about a traffic study in springfield. >> [inaudible] >> absolutely not. no. no. no, that's not the way it operates. we build relationships over four years with folks trying to be helpful to every town we could be helpful with appropriately. no, nothing like that was done. >> i'm wondering if your soul- searching about the kind of people who run the campaign or the kind of people you want to run the republican party who are willing to engage in political retribution and also call the mayor a rationally insensitive man. >> it was a mistake. soul-searching is complete on that part of it.
it was a mistake. >> to hire him? >> obviously. the fact is that mistakes were made and i'm responsible for those mistakes. and i obviously tried every chance i can to hire the very best people. i think the history of this administration shows that we have hired outstanding people with great ethical standards who have done their jobs extraordinarily well. in a government of 65,000 people there will be times when mistakes are made. mistakes were made and i have remediated those mistakes by the actions i have taken. i am in a constant state of trying to figure out who are the best people for individual jobs. who will make me proud to put them there. that's always been going on. that's nothing new. there are times when people you put those decisions make mistakes, they disappoint you,
you lose your confidence in them or they lie to you. when you find that out, the test of leadership is what do you do? i found this out at 8:50 yesterday morning. by 9:00, this morning bridget kelly was fired. by 7:00 yesterday evening bill was asked to leave my organization. that's pretty swift action for a day's work. that's exactly the way i'll continue to conduct myself. if there's any other information surrounding this that comes up or anything different that comes up over the course of the next four years. >> [inaudible] >> i can differentiate, phil, between people who have served me well and they haven't.
of course there's always going to be some -- after something like this where you have been lied to, there's going to be some crisis in confidence. there always will be. anybody who tells you differently is not telling you the truth. they say to you this happened to you and you're not going to second-guess yourself at all, then you're just stupid. of course i second-guessed myself and gone through my head on some of this stuff. and in the future i'll try to be even more careful. but here's what i know about human beings, phil. i have hired a lot of them in my time. as u.s. attorney, as governor, and as a hiring attorney in private practice law firm. sometimes, despite the best background checks, despite the best interviews, despite your best instincts, sometimes people are higher. sometimes they start office as a
good hire and because of circumstance that is happen in their life they change. you can't prevent everything. but the test of leadership is when you find it out, what do you do? and i'm saddened to have to do this. it's difficult personally to do. but it's my job and i have taken an oath and i'm going to execute my job. josh. [inaudible] >> i'm sorry. -- getting an angle, what happened? was there then a restitution? was her some sort of vendetta exercised in -- at the port
?uthority -- >> a few things. first off to my knowledge, and i think the mayor said this last night, i have no knowledge of him being asked for an endorsement. he may have been, but he certainly was never asked by me. but he, i think, said last night on television he doesn't recall being asked for an endorsement. that's why this made no sense to me, josh, because why would you execute a vendetta against somebody who you didn't even give a chance to say no to? put aside the fact you shouldn't do that at all. then if you never asked for an endorsement, why are you mad he didn't give one? none made any sense to me. that's the first point. >> you still don't know what prompted -- >> i don't. again, i don't know whether this was a traffic study that then morphed into a political vendetta or a political vendetta that morphed into a traffic study.
i have seen statistics and other things about the traffic study. i know there's information there. i don't know what it is. we'll find out over time, maybe. but that's really in the minds of the people who are doing it. and that's what i based my decisions on at the time was the testimony that people gave. lastly, listen, i don't know exactly what you're referencing, but i think you're talking about the foy memo that was leaked? >> it seems that in emails the traffic issue arose, complaints were made, a story appeared in one of the newspapers, complaints were then lodged internally. some people were taking inappropriate action toward the new york side -- >> yeah.
i asked general sampson about this. something to that effect. i don't remember who it was. i asked general sampson about that yesterday. he said he has absolutely no idea what they are referring to. the only communication that he had at that time was his concern that he expressed to fellow commissioners about internal port authority documents being leaked. and that's just not appropriate for folks to be leaking internal documents. but he has no recollection from what he told me yesterday of any conversation like that with wild's team or baroni at all that references the gist of what you said in the email. >> no internal pay bach -- payback operation going on -- >> certainly not that i'm aware of or not out of the normal. let's remember something, too. this is a bistate agency with significant tension. all the time. now, there's no tension between governor cuomo and i. we get along quite well. when issues rise to our level we
have always been able to resolve them. but there is tension. always has been between new york and new jersey on the allocation of resources at the port authority. so let me be clear, there's some battles over there that go on that have happened in every administration over the course of my memory, but you can't connect that -- that's kind of the ongoing nature of the tension of that agency. and i think of most bistate agencies, though i think the port authority of new york and new jersey because the resources are greater and demands are greater, it's even more. nothing that i know of that's specific. i don't want to make clear to people that this is -- there is tension that goes on between the employees of these agencies. not every one of those issues of tensions, thank goodness, are raised to my level and governor cuomo's level. the good news for people of new york and new jersey is that when those issues have been raised in the last three years, to my level, governor cuomo's level,
we have always, between the two of us, amicably resolved it and moved on. sometimes that's the roles governors have to play in that agency. >> question your own judgment about whether or not you could -- are you concerned putting out a series of cones to change a couple lanes of traffic? >> let me answer that then i'll let you follow up. i don't know what makes a legitimate traffic study. not my area of expertise. so i wouldn't have a nose for that. just wouldn't. i don't know what makes a legitimate traffic study. i have been told that sometimes they are done live. sometimes they are done by computer model. i have heard that in the professionals who testify for the port authority. you'd have to go to them to ask
them what a legitimate traffic study is. i probably wouldn't know a traffic study if i tripped over it. >> you said that sometimes raises to the level of governors. the port now is that you call governor to complain that the representatives -- was asking too many questions -- >> not true. i have denied that story before. that's an old story. and governor cuomo has denied it as well. >> video lie under oath -- >> -- did he lie under oath -- >> not true. i have no idea, but clearly there's a difference of opinion between senator baroni and pat foy about the existence of a traffic study. and there seems to me to be evidence that senator baroni showed of statistics and maps and other things about traffic
studies. this could go back to the nuance of what constitutes a traffic study or not. they may be arguing about some specifics and nuance that i'm not familiar with. but i certainly would not accuse pat foy of perjuring himself. i'm telling you what i was told and what we saw before the legislature. i certainly wouldn't accuse pat foy of perjuring himself. >> you think he's genuine and not -- >> guess what? after reading everything yesterday, i don't know. but what i'm telling you is that that's what i have been told. he seemed to display evidence for that at the time. that's now, because of the tone and tenor of these emails and text messages, that's now all this stuff is something that i'm not going to warranty because i don't know given some of this back and forth.
senator baroni is a very respected guy. he served in this building for a long time. i have known him for a long time. when he made his testimony, i would have no reason to believe that he wasn't telling the truth. but obviously from reading these emails yesterday there was other stuff going on that i hadn't been informed about. >> you never called him -- >> i never called him personally, no. but baroni's position continues to be there was a traffic study. and he has a disagreement with pat foy about that. they had a disagreement, that was clear. pat foy had already expressed those concerns in earlier written documents that he -- someone had put out to the press. matt? >> [inaudible] >> i had no conversation with bill. listen, i had earlier
conversations with bill where, as i expressed to you at the time, that bill told me he knew absolutely nothing about this. so -- and certainly the emails yesterday, emails are well after the fact, so -- but that's not the basis upon which i made my decision on bill. my decision on bill was made based on the fact of the tone, tenor, and conduct evidenced in those emails. i lost confidence in his judgment. that's why i made the decision i made as to bill. brian? >> it's no secret that many republicans -- do you see what has happened here fighting the decision- making process of the next -- >> i have no idea what it would look like at this point. as i have said many times before.
i know that everybody in the political media and in the political chattering class wants to start the 2016 race. and universities can't help themselves but do polls that are meaningless three years away from an election. you guys can't help but put them on the air and talk about them. my job is to be governor of new jersey. i'll say what i have said before. i am enormously flattered that folks would talk about me in my party as someone who they think could be a candidate for president. but i am absolutely nowhere near beginning that consideration process. i haven't even been sworn in for my second term yet. i've got work to do here. that's my focus. my focus is on the people of new jersey and the job they gave me. all those considerations are the kind of hysteria that goes around this because everybody's in that world gets preoccupied with that job. i am not preoccupied with that job.
i'm preoccupied with this one. as you can tell, i got plenty to do. it's not like i got some spare time to spend. because you rolled your eyes and looking very disgruntled i hadn't called on you. i have known brian longer than you. [laughter] >> can you elaborate on your feelings for his role in hit -- --it >> i am sad. i am sad. that is the predominant emotion i feel right now, sadness. sadness that i was betrayed by a member of my staff. sadness that i had people but i entrusted with important jobs who acted completely inappropriately. sad that that has led to the people of new jersey to have less confidence in the people that i have selected.
the emotion i've been displaying a private is sad. as i said earlier, i don't know what the stages of grief are, the exact order. i know anger gets there at some point. i'm sure i will have that. right now i am sad. up me just clear something about my childhood friend, david. it is true that i met david in 1977 in high school. he is a year older than me. david and i were not friends in high school. we were not even acquaintances in high school. a high school in livingston, a three-year high school that had 1800 students. late 70s, early 1980's. i met david on the tom kane for governor campaign in 1977. use was a youth volunteer and so was i. after that time i lost touch
with him. we did not travel in the same circles in high school. i was a class president and athlete. i don't know what he was doing during that. of time. -- during that period of time. we reacquainted years later in 2000 when he was helping bob franks with his senate campaign. we went 23 years without seeing each other. in the years we did see each other we passed in the hallways. i want to clear that up. it doesn't make a difference except that i think some of the stories that have been written in cute some sort of a in -- and emotional relationship -- emotional closeness between us that does not exist. i know david and then i knew that no baroni wanted to hire him to come to the port authority. i gave it -- i gave my permission. that was ill's higher.
-- bill's hire. how i feel about david now? what i read yesterday made me angry. that is the one bit of anger i felt. that language and callous indifference from david yesterday are just over the top and outrageous. beenshould never, ever, written or uttered by someone with a position of responsibility like that. it is the way i feel about it and that is the opportunity. -- opportunity to espouse on our relationship. >> [inaudible] john, i said i have not spoken to him since i discovered the e-mails. andoke to them beforehand
bridget clearly did not tell me the truth. bill -- what he told me at the time is not contradicted by the e-mails. but the e-mails and the coloring characteristics of the e-mails have led me to conclude that i do not have confidence in his judgment anymore and that is why i asked him to move on. he has. point, there are legislative hearings coming and all the rest and i do not want to get myself in the middle of that. to askirman intends bridget kelly to testify in my gut sense is that it would not be appropriate for me to get in the middle of that. there would be all kind of other allegations about those conversations. -- ie the smarter things think the smart thing for me to do is to move on from there and talk to other folks still in my employ.
>> are there other things by your inner circle that was in those e-mails? >> i believe that i have spoken to everyone who is mentioned in the e-mails except for charlie mckenna who was away at a family funeral. >> they had no involvement in the situation. your characterization not mine. there is nobody on my staff with any knowledge of this issue. in the back. [inaudible] >> it is awful. i have seen conflicting reports about what the cause of death was. it does not